Health officials believe this case is connected to the outbreak of measles under investigation in Pima County. Pima County has identified 21 people infected with the measles virus.
Measles is a highly contagious disease whose symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. It is spread through the air in droplets and by contact with the secretions from the nose and throats of infected persons. The incubation period from being exposed to an infected person to getting symptoms is about 10 days. Complications may include ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia and encephalitis. About one to two children in every thousand infected with measles die from the disease. Pregnant women infected with measles have a higher risk of miscarriage, low weight babies, and premature delivery.
"Vaccination is the best way to avoid getting measles. Anyone who has not previously had measles or been appropriately vaccinated is at risk of contracting measles," said Tom Schryer, Director of Pinal County Public Health, "It is important to make sure that your family is vaccinated. Because measles can be more severe in infants and very young children, we are recommending an accelerated vaccine schedule for children in Pinal County."
Pinal County Health officials recommend that all children between the ages of 6 through 11 months receive a dose of measles vaccine. Two additional doses are needed after the first birthday. Parents should make sure that their children have received at least two doses of measles vaccine after their first birthday. Children in Pinal County who have received one dose of measles vaccine at age one or older should receive their second dose as soon as possible, but with a minimum of 28 days between vaccinations.
For those without insurance, measles vaccination for children 18 years old and under is available free of charge at any county Public Health clinic. A list of clinic locations is available at http://pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/PublicHealth/Pages/OfficeLocations.aspx.
Adults should also make sure they are immune to measles if they have contact with infants less than a year old. The same recommendation is being made if adults are with people who are taking medications that suppress their immune system or have a disease that affects their immune systems.
If you, or a family member, have symptoms of measles, such as fever and a rash, please call your health care provider. Because measles is highly contagious, it is important to notify your health care provider or facility BEFORE arriving so that they can prepare to care for your family member.
For more information about measles please call the Pinal County Citizen Contact Center at 520-509-3555 or toll free at 1-888-431-1311. You may also call the 24-hour Pinal County Information Hotline at 1-866-763-7252. Information about measles is also available on the websites for Arizona Department of Health Services http://www.azdhs.gov/measles and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov.
CDC website references on Measles Vaccine, symptoms of infection and references to common questions: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/measles/default.htm