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Department of Health warns of potential measles exposure in Tucson

Measles outbreak: 11 cases confirmed in Arizona
Posted at 3:38 PM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 23:04:41-04

TUCSON, AZ — Authorities have issued a warning to people of a potential measles exposure last month in Pima County.

The Arizona Department of Health Services says 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 may have exposed anyone who was at Tucson International Airport on April 29, between 6 a.m. and 10:40 a.m.

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“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,” Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said in a news release. “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."

Measles is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms appear seven to 12 days after exposure but can take up to three weeks to appear. Starting with a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, symptoms progress to red, watery eyes, a cough, and runny nose. A red, blotchy rash then appears, starting on the face at the hairline before progressing down the body.

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“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.

Those without a primary physician who have symptoms which may be measles are advised to call a nearby hospital or urgent care center before arriving so they can prepare.

In March, officials confirmed a one-year-old in Tucson had been diagnosed with measles. The infant had recently traveled to Asia.