For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Jeanene Fowler, 602-722-1806
Measles Case Confirmed in Maricopa County
“Health Director Reminds Residents to be Current on Vaccinations”
PHOENIX (February 9, 2011) – The Arizona State Lab along with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has confirmed a case of measles in a man living in Maricopa County with recent travel history. This individual spent some time in the community before being diagnosed causing concern that people not immune to measles may have been exposed. He is currently recovering at home.
“This is a perfect example of why it is important for every person young and old to be up to date on immunizations such as MMR or Mumps, Measles and Rubella,” said Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa County Public Health. “The more we build up a herd effect in our community, the less likely diseases like this one are likely to spread.
“The thing about measles is that it is one of the most contagious diseases known to man and we have to act aggressively in order to contain the spread.” England continued. “One of the CDC recommendations that we are following is sending home any health care worker who came into contact with this individual and can’t show measles immunity.”
Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus that will lead to fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and a rash all over the body (usually starts on the face and moves down). It is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing which makes it very contagious for people who have not been vaccinated. It is important to note that measles is contagious for a few days before the rash appears. Measles is very rare in the United States; however, sporadic cases can occur if visitors from other countries or US citizens traveling abroad become infected before or during travel.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms noted above, CALL your healthcare provider, healthcare facility, or urgent care before going in for a visit. This can help them provide you with the appropriate care and prevent the possibility of accidentally spreading the infection.
If you are not sure about your child’s vaccine status, check with your health care provider. If you or your child needs the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination, please contact your healthcare provider or for adults, a pharmacy that provides vaccinations. Children can also receive vaccination at MCDPH’s walk-in clinics.
For more information on measles or childhood clinic locations, please visit www.WeArePublicHealth.org.