Measles case involving international visitor confirmed in Maricopa County

Feb 12, 2024, 7:45 AM | Updated: Feb 13, 2024, 6:13 am

A 10 pack and one dose bottle of measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine, made by MERCK, sits on a...

Maricopa County health officials are advising residents to stay up to date on their vaccines after a case of measles was confirmed in the Valley on Feb. 10, 2024. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – A case of measles involving an international visitor has been confirmed in the Valley, Maricopa County health officials announced Saturday.

Cases of the highly contagious disease are on the rise in the U.S. and overseas, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH).

The county health department also confirmed two public locations where exposure to measles could have occurred on Saturday, Jan. 27. The first is the breakfast buffet at The Garden Grille and Bar inside the Hilton Garden Inn Chandler Downtown (150 S. Arizona Ave.) from 7 a.m. to noon. The other location is Twin Peaks at 2135 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“Measles is both highly infectious and completely preventable,” Dr. Nick Staab, MCDPH assistant medical director, said in a press release. “We encourage residents to stay up to date on their vaccines and watch for symptoms of measles, especially if you are high risk or unvaccinated.”

Measles, which spreads through the air, can cause serious illness in young children, pregnant women and people with depressed immune systems.

Of the unvaccinated people who get measles in the U.S., 20% end up hospitalized, according to MCDPH. About 30% of cases develop serious complications, including ear infections that could lead to permanent hearing loss, pneumonia and encephalitis (brain swelling).

Before a vaccine became available in 1963, millions of people were infected with measles each year in the U.S., with 400 to 500 fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

What are the symptoms of measles?

It can take up 21 days after exposure for symptoms appear, and a person infected with the virus can transmit it before feeling sick, MCDPH said.

Symptoms include fever, cough, white spots in the throat, runny nose, red and/or watery eyes and a rash. The rash usually appears a few days after the initial symptoms and typically starts on the forehead and spreads downward.

Individuals who have been exposed to measles or have symptoms should self-isolate and contact their health care provider by phone. Do not visit a medical office or hospital without setting up a visit first.

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Measles case involving international visitor confirmed in Maricopa County