Health Dept. confirms measles in Maricopa County

Health Dept. confirms measles in Maricopa County

Posted: Updated:
This is the skin of a patient after 3 days of measles infection. (file) Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention This is the skin of a patient after 3 days of measles infection. (file) Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
PHOENIX -

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health has confirmed than an unvaccinated person returning from Europe has measles.

While in Maricopa County, officials say this person may have exposed others to the virus in these public locations:

March 29: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Terminal 4; 6:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

March 30: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Cave Creek Chapel, 38008 N. Basin Rd in Cave Creek (Cave Creek, Desert Ridge and Pinnacle Peak Wards); 1:00 p.m until 5:00 p.m

March 31: Wildflower Bread Company, 15640 N. Hayden Rd. in Scottsdale; 12:00 p.m. until 5p.m

March 31: Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Terminal 4; 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Authorities say people who were at these locations during those times should monitor for symptoms and call their health provider if they begin to show symptoms.  MCDPH says there is no longer concern for residents visiting those public areas now.

"Measles is the most contagious disease known to man which is why when we find one case, we must act quickly to identify  additional cases and stop the outbreak as soon as possible," stated Dr. Bob England, MCDPH director.  "The frustration is that if enough people get just two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine, we would have enough immunity in the population to prevent outbreaks from happening at all."

Measles is highly contagious viral illness spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact with secretions from the nose, mouth, and throat of an infected individual. The virus can survive in the air for hours and could be transmitted even after the infected person is no longer in the area.

Symptoms and MCDPH's tips on what to do if you think you have measles:

  • Typically appear 7-12 days after exposure to measles but may take up to 21 days

  • Begin with fever (101° F or higher), red, watery eyes, cough and runny nose

  • Followed by a rash that is red, raised, and blotchy. The rash begins on the face at the hairline and moves down the body. The rash may last for 5 to 6 days and may turn brownish

  • If you have a healthcare provider, contact him/her by phone and let them know that you may have been exposed to measles. They will let you know when to visit their office so as not to expose others in the waiting area.

  • If you do not have a health care provider, you may need to be seen at your local hospital emergency room/urgent care center. Please call before going to let them know you may have measles.

For more information and where to find a vaccine, go to:
www.WeArePublicHealth.org
www.cdc.gov/measles

Related content:

Unvaccinated infants fueling disease epidemics, researchers say

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