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Public health agencies: Infant from Pima County diagnosed with measles

(AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

PHOENIX — A 12-month-old infant from Pima County has been diagnosed with measles, according to the Pima County Health Department and Arizona Department of Health Services.

“We are working with our healthcare and public health partners to make sure we quickly identify any possible exposures to the community that may have occurred,” Marcy Flanagan, director of the Pima County Health Department said in a press release.

“As more and more cities and counties across the United States experience cases of vaccine preventable diseases like measles, we are working hard to prevent that from happening in Pima County.”

According to the public health agencies, the infant with the confirmed case had Asia-related travel.

“We know that infectious diseases are just a plane ride away,” Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services said in the release.

“Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease that can spread quickly. We recommend that everyone is vaccinated against measles to help keep our communities safe.”

The agencies are conducting an investigation to learn if any of the community was exposed to the disease.

Measles spreads through the air when a person who has the disease coughs or sneezes. Symptoms typically appear about seven to 12 days after initial exposure, but could stay dormant for up to 21 days.

Symptoms include fever, watery eyes, cough and runny nose and is followed with a rash. It starts at the face and works its way down the body and can last five to six days.

Last week, a student from Hamilton High School was diagnosed with mumps, a contagious disease caused by a virus that is spread through the air by coughing or contact with bodily fluids from the mouth, nose, or throat.

It is the second case of mumps reported in Maricopa County so far this year. The other case was an adult who had a “common exposure” to the student.

The county also recorded two cases of mumps last year.

The report of mumps came as a measles outbreak spread across the Pacific Northwest, sickening dozens of people.

Measles, mumps and rubella can be prevented with the MMR vaccine. According to the Center for Disease Control, children are recommended to get two doses of the vaccine at 12 through 15 months and the second dose at four through six years of age.

If you think you may have the disease, call your local healthcare provider or local hospital or urgent care to set up a time to visit the office as to not expose the illness to others.

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