ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County announces 2 additional cases of measles, more possible exposure sites

Feb 22, 2024, 11:19 AM | Updated: 11:19 am

Two additional measles cases in Maricopa County were identified Feb. 22, 2024. (Photo by Fiona Good...

Two additional measles cases in Maricopa County were identified Feb. 22, 2024. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County announced two more cases of measles Thursday, about two weeks after an initial case involving an international visitor was confirmed.

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) said five public locations have been identified as possible exposure zones, all in the East Valley.

Possible exposure to the highly contagious disease could have occurred in these places last week:

  • Honey and Vine Restaurant at San Tan Mountain (7101 S. Gilbert Road, Chandler) from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Feb. 14.
  • Orlando Auto Body (3055 W. Williams Field Road, Gilbert) from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 16.
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car (1312 E. Motorplex Loop, Gilbert) from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 16.
  • Caldwell County BBQ (18324 E. Nunneley Road, Gilbert) from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 16.
  • Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream (21182 S. Ellsworth Loop Road, Queen Creek) from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 17.

Anyone at those locations during those times should watch for symptoms for the 21 days after possible exposure.

The two people with measles are working with the county health department to identify more potential exposure locations.

“We need the community’s help to keep measles contained,” Dr. Nick Staab, assistant medical director for MCDPH, said in a press release.

“Widespread vaccination with a safe and highly effective measles vaccine is our best chance at keeping measles from coming back the way it was before a vaccine existed.”

When was the first Maricopa County measles case confirmed?

An international visitor was confirmed to have measles on Feb. 10.

The county health department at that time confirmed two public locations where exposure to measles could have occurred on Saturday, Jan. 27.

The first was 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 was Twin Peaks at 2135 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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.

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.

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Maricopa County announces 2 additional cases of measles, more possible exposure sites