3 measles cases confirmed in Maricopa County, health department says

Three related cases of measles have been confirmed in Maricopa County, health officials said on Sept. 1

The cases involve an adult and two minors. One person was hospitalized and all three people are unvaccinated.

"We are working diligently with the cases and their healthcare providers to identify any potential exposures and notify people who were exposed promptly," said Dr. Nick Staab, medical epidemiologist at MCDPH. "The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to get vaccinated against measles if you have not already been vaccinated."

The department says measles can linger in the air for up to two hours and 90% of those who are unvaccinated and exposed to the measles will become infected.

"It is preventable with two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, typically given during childhood. Adults need at least one dose of MMR vaccine given after the age of one. Individuals born before 1957 or who had measles as a child are considered immune," health officials said in a news release.

Measles Outbreaks Spread In U.S.

In this handout from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a thin-section transmission electron micrograph (TEM) reveales the ultrastructural appearance of a single virus particle, or "virion", of measles virus. in this undated image. (Photo by CDC via Getty Images)

Symptoms of the measles include:

  • Fever of 101°F or higher
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • A red, non-itchy rash

If you have been exposed to the measles, officials say symptoms typically appear seven to 121 days after exposure, but could also take up to 21 days to appear.

"Measles is both highly contagious and preventable," Dr. Staab added. "It can be a severe illness, so we strongly encourage anyone who has not been vaccinated to get vaccinated to prevent further spread."

If you develop symptoms, you are urged to contact your healthcare provider. If you do not have a provider, you can find a federally-qualified community health center or visit FindHelpPhx.org to find one.

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