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Measles in Maricopa County Linked to Disneyland

For Immediate Release

Please contact Courtney Kreuzwiesner, 602-540-5473 to schedule an interview

Measles in Maricopa County Linked to DisneyLand

PHOENIX (Jan. 22, 2015) – Maricopa County Department of Public Health has confirmed that a woman in her 50’s tested positive for measles after visiting Disneyland in mid-December. The woman has since recovered. During her infectious period, she had little exposure to Maricopa County residents. Public Health is aware of those individuals whom she may have exposed and those people are being directly contacted to ensure they do not have symptoms related to measles.

“Mitigating factors allowed this person to go unreported for a few weeks. Luckily, we were able to quickly identify the small group of individuals that may have been exposed,” said Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

“However, we are not out of the woods yet,” added England. “California is only a state away and there may be more secondary cases in Maricopa County. This is why we need residents and our healthcare community to be vigilant in identifying measles’ signs and symptoms.”

Measles is a vaccine-preventable viral illness that is the most contagious disease on earth. It can easily spread through the air by coughing and sneezing.  In fact, the measles virus can survive in the air for hours and may be transmitted even after an infected individual is no longer in the room/area.

You should be protected from measles if you were immunized by getting 2 doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine, or if you have previously had the disease. Healthcare providers are required to report suspect cases of measles to Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

Symptoms:

• 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 5-6 days and may turn brownish.

What to do if you think you have measles:
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 on measles’ signs and symptoms or where you may find vaccine, please visit www.WeArePublicHealth.org.

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