Public Health Agencies Warn Residents of Potential Exposure to Measles in Arizona
PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the Pima County Public Health Department announced today that an out-of-state visitor with measles traveled to Tucson between April 17 through 29 and may have exposed the public to the disease. The person was potentially contagious and may have exposed the public at the following locations during the listed times:
- Monday, April 29, 2019:
- Tucson International Airport, 7250 S Tucson Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85756, from 6:00 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.
“Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease that can spread quickly, so if you or your child are not vaccinated against the disease and you were at the Tucson International Airport, there is a risk of getting measles,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “If you develop signs of measles, including high fever, cough, runny nose, red watery eyes, or a rash, stay home and call your healthcare provider so you can schedule a time to be seen. 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 or urgent care center. Please call before going to let them know you may have measles.”
Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles symptoms appear seven to 12 days after exposure but may take up to 21 days to appear. It begins with fever (101 F or higher), red, watery eyes, cough and runny nose and is followed by a rash that is red, raised, and blotchy. The rash begins on the face at the hairline and moves down the body and may last five to six days.
“We are working closely with local, state and out-of-state public health partners to make sure we quickly identify any possible exposures that may have occurred while this person was visiting Pima County,” said Marcy Flanagan, director of the Pima County Health Department. “As we see more cities and counties in the United States experience cases of vaccine preventable diseases like measles, it is of the upmost importance that we continue our work to prevent that from happening in Pima County.”
Measles can be prevented with the MMR vaccine. The vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. The CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination. The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective.
You are immune to measles if you have received two doses of the MMR vaccines or were born before 1957 and have received one MMR vaccine. Health care providers are required to report suspected cases of measles to their local health department.
For information about measles, visit the Arizona Department of Health Services’ website at azhealth.gov/measles.