• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018

Area Info

San Tan Valley Area Information

5 minutes reading time (998 words)

Number of measles cases increases again

A red, raised and blotchy rash begins on the face and moves down the body and might last up to six days, health officials say.

The initial report last week involved two cases in Pinal County.

Over the weekend, that number jumped to 10. The increase stemmed from an outbreak at the private detention center in Eloy.

Now the case count is at 11.

In addition to the newly confirmed case of measles, the potential exposure area is being expanded because some of the identified cases may have exposed other people within Pinal and Maricopa counties.

"This is an evolving situation, and given how contagious measles can be, public health will continue to update our communities on places of potential exposure," said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. "People who have a rash and fever must call their health care provider or emergency department before going to let them know they may have measles. This is vital to help stop the further spread of the disease."

Symptoms generally appear seven to 12 days after exposure. They can, however, take up to 21 days to manifest.

The initial symptoms include 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. The rash may last five to six days.

"That sniffle and that cough may not be a cold but may actually be measles," said Christ.

Newly identified public exposures

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • Denny's, 1851 E. Florence Blvd., Casa Grande (2 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.)
  • Wal-Mart Pharmacy, 1741 E. Florence Blvd., Casa Grande (3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.)
    Thursday, May 19, 2016
  • Wal-Mart Pharmacy, 1741 E. Florence Blvd., Casa Grande (5 p.m. - 8 p.m.)
    Daily between May 20, 2016 and May 29, 2016
  • Circle K, 2382 N. Pinal Ave., Casa Grande
    Friday, May 20, 2016:
  • Safeway, 1449 N. Arizona Blvd., Coolidge (4 p.m.- 7 p.m.)
  • Golden Corral, 2064 E. Florence Blvd., Casa Grande (8 p.m. - 11 p.m.)
  • Ross, 1004 N. Promenade Pkwy., Casa Grande (9 p.m. - midnight)
  • Walmart, 1741 E. Florence Blvd., Casa Grande (10 p.m.-1 a.m.)
  • Corner Store, 2182 E. Florence Blvd., Casa Grande (10 p.m. - 1 a.m.)
    Friday, May 27, 2016
  • Cheddars, 2530 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler ( 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.)

Previously reported public exposures

    Saturday, May 21, 2016
  • Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino, 15406 N. Maricopa Road, Maricopa (6 a.m. - 2 a.m.)
    Sunday, May 22, 2016
  • Arco AM/PM Store, 2245 E. Florence Blvd., Casa Grande ( 8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.)
    Sunday, May 15, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., Monday, May 16, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Multiple visits to the Apostolic Assembly - The Faith, 424 E. Frontier St., Eloy
    Tuesday, May 17, 2016
  • Villa Oasis High School graduation, 3740 N. Toltec Road, Eloy (6 p.m. - 9 p.m.)

What to do if you think you have measles

If you have a health care 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.

"It's so contagious people can catch it after going into a room two hours after someone with measles has been in it," said Christ.

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 the vaccine, please check with your healthcare provider or your county health department.

You are immune to measles if you have received two measles, mumps, and rubella [MMR] vaccines or were born before 1957 and have received one MMR vaccine. Health care providers are required to report suspect cases of measles to their local health department.

Public health continues to investigate contacts and places of exposure for these new cases. The Department will continue to provide updates and additional information on confirmed cases and potential public exposure as information becomes available.

"We expect to see more, How big it's going to get, we don't have any idea at this point," said Christ

For information on signs and symptoms of measles, or where you can find the vaccine, please visit StoptheSpreadAZ.com. Medical questions should be directed to your health care provider. For outbreak-related questions, community members may call 602-839-2275.

Last year's outbreak

Seven Arizona residents caught the measles in a nationwide outbreak that started at Disneyland in California in January 2015.

Up to 1,000 people - including 200 children - in three Arizona counties were potentially exposed to the disease.

There were 147 cases reported nationally, the majority of them in California. In addition to the Arizona cases, there also were patients in Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah and Washington, as well as in Mexico and Canada.

"The outbreak likely started from a traveler who became infected overseas with measles, then visited the amusement park while infectious; however, no source was identified.," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many of those who got sick had not been vaccinated.

The outbreak was declared over in mid-April.

According to the CDC website, 2014 saw nearly two dozen measles outbreaks throughout the U.S. One outbreak in Amish communities in Ohio accounted for more than half of the 667 confirmed cases that year.

Many of the 2014 cases were linked to an outbreak the Philippines. The CDC believes that outbreak was also connected to the 2015 outbreak that originated at Disneyland.

"Analysis by CDC scientists showed that the measles virus type in this [2015] outbreak (B3) was identical to the virus type that caused the large measles outbreak in the Philippines in 2014," according to the CDC's webpage documenting measles cases and outbreaks.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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