To date there are 13 confirmed cases in Pinal County, Arizona. Measles is a serious, highly contagious respiratory disease that is easily spread through coughing and sneezing even if no rash or other symptoms are present. The virus can remain in a room for up to two hours.
Early symptoms of measles include:
- Fever (101+)
- Runny nose
- Fatigue-feeling achy and run down
- Red, watery eyes
- Koplik’s Spots: tiny white spots with bluish/white centers first appear inside the mouth.
Early symptoms are followed in 2–4 days by a rash — starting on the hairline, face, and neck, spreading downward on the body to the hands and feet
The incubation period for measles ranges from 7 to 21 days. Persons with measles are usually considered contagious from 4 days before until 4 days after onset of rash. Immunocompromised individuals may be contagious longer.
The best way to prevent measles is by getting two doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine according to the recommended schedule:
- The first dose of is recommended for children between 12 and 15 months of age.
- The second dose is recommended between 4 and 6 years of age, and in Arizona is required before a child starts school.
What to do if you think you have measles:
- If you have a health care provider, contact them 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/urgent care center. Please call before going to let them know you may have measles.
Peace & Wellness,
—Carol Jones, Parish Nurse