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Infectious diseases diagnosed in Pima, Cochise counties

Posted at 8:55 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-09 13:25:45-05

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Cases of two infectious diseases have been diagnosed in Southern Arizona.

In Pima County, a one-year-old baby was diagnosed with the measles.

Health Department officials said the baby likely caught the disease during travels to Asia.

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

“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,” said Marcy Flanagan, Director of the Pima County Health Department. “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.”

Pima County Health Department officials say people are immune to Measles if they've had two doses of the MMR vaccine.

Measles spreads through the air. The infection begins with a fever, red eyes, cough, and runny nose.

Eventually a red blotchy rash shows up starting at the hairline and moving down the body.

If you think you or your child might have measles call your doctor or a nearby hospital and ask them the best time to visit the office to avoid spreading the disease.

In Cochise County, an unvaccinated elementary student has been diagnosed with the mumps.

That disease is also preventable if a child receives doses of the MMR vaccine.

The case in Cochise County was reported at Elfrida Elementary school.

Cochise County's health department has contacted the family of that student and of other students who may have come into contact with them.

They're also offering free immunizations to help prevent further spread of the disease.

Symptoms of mumps include swelling around the neck and jaw, and a low-grade fever.

Older boys and men may experience swelling in the testicles, and women can sometimes feel pain in their abdomen around their ovaries.

“If you take your child to a healthcare provider with any of these symptoms, it is important to tell them ahead of time that your child has been exposed to mumps so other patients are not exposed during the visit,” said Cochise Health & Social Services Director Carrie Langley. “If mumps is diagnosed, please notify your school nurse. Your student may return to school on the 6th day after the onset of gland swelling.”