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Health officials warn of potential measles exposure in northern Arizona

Posted at 3:50 PM, Aug 17, 2018

Health officials have issued a warning of a potential measles exposure after an out-of-state visitor with the measles traveled to northern Arizona.

A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Health Services says the tourist was potentially contagious from August 6 to 8 and visited multiple locations in northern Arizona.

RELATED: Measles reported in 21 states, CDC says

There are currently no cases of measles in the state, but health officials say the visitor may have exposed the public at the following locations during the listed times:

Monday, August 6, 2018:

  • • Slide Rock State Park, 6871 N. AZ-89A, Sedona, AZ 86336, from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • • Enchantment Resort, 525 Boynton Canyon Road, Sedona, AZ 86336, from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018:

  • • Pump House Station Urban Eatery and Market, 313 AZ-179 D10, Sedona, AZ 86336, from 12:10 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • • Redrock Precision Motors, 1425 W AZ-89A, Sedona, AZ 86336, from 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
  • • Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 2090 AZ-89A, Sedona, AZ 86336, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • • Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, 336 AZ-179, Sedona, AZ 86336, from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
  • • Rene at Tlaquepaque, 336 AZ-179, Sedona, AZ 86336, from 6:15 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018:

  • • Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, 3520 Stockton Hill Road, Kingman, AZ 86409, from 8 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

As public health and county officials continue to investigate, they advise these locations could be expanded.

“It is extremely important to make sure you are fully immunized against measles. You may be protected from measles if you were vaccinated for measles or if you have previously had the disease,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. "We know measles circulates in other parts of the world. There is always a possibility that visitors to tourist destinations in Arizona could introduce measles into our state, which is one of the reasons why measles vaccination is so important.”

Measles begins with symptoms which include fever, red, watery eyes, cough and a runny nose. A rash that is red, raised and blotchy appears after several days. The rash begins on the head at the hairline and moves down the body.

People infected with measles can be contagious up to four days before the rash appears, when people may not recognize they have measles.

"Because you're infectious before you get that rash -- you can still be out in public potentially exposing others," Dr. Christ said. "All they have to do is breathe in the air, and they can come down with measles."

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.
  • • 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.

For more information on measles’ signs and symptoms or where you may find a vaccine, please check with your healthcare provider or your county health department.

"As more and more people become unvaccinated it creates more pathways to those susceptible individuals. You can develop pneumonia, you can develop swelling of the brain, and two or three people out of every thousand infected with measles will die," Dr. Christ said. "We have a lot of people going from Phoenix to cooler weather right now -- Sedona, the Grand Canyon -- so it could just be one person that brings it back to Phoenix."

For more information on the measles, click here.