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Measles in Pima County, Mumps in Cochise

Health experts urge preventive vaccinations
Posted at 7:12 PM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 12:16:47-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Two potentially deadly diseases are keeping health departments busy in Pima and Cochise Counties.

In Pima it's a year old baby with measles.

In Cochise it's an elementary school student with Mumps.

Officials say both are easy to prevent with vaccinations.

Measles means much more than a case of red spots that fades in a few days. It can kill or leave someone with pneumonia, seizures, or brain damage.

The Pima County case involves a twelve month old baby

International travel figures into this case of measles. It's believed the child was actually infected on a trip to Asia but that does not mean it left a trail of infection from Asia all the way back here. Measles does not become infectious right after you catch it and the child did not enter the infectious phase until it was back in Arizona.

Paula Mandel is Deputy Director of the Pima County Health Department. She says until the spots appear, you may not know you're dealing with measles.

"Symptoms of measles you typically what we see as a high fever. Hundred and One, or higher, we see red eyes, watery eyes, runny nose, cough, those are the first symptoms. And then as it progresses, we see a rash."

In this case the baby was not vaccinated because at 12 months it was barely old enough to be vaccinated.

In Cochise County, Elfrida Elementary School used Facebook to tell parents an unvaccinated child there came down with Mumps. The Arizona Health Department says Mumps can lead to meningitis, deafness or death.

On KGUN9's Facebook, a few people voiced fears about vaccine side effects. One man worried about seizures. But doctors and nurses say vaccines are safe.

A strong majority on our Facebook agree. One woman remembered two diseases vaccines stamped out in the United States.. She mentioned the paralytic disease polio saying , “How many parents could stand to see the kids in an iron lung, or smallpox?

The Arizona Health Department offers information on childhood vaccination requirements including requirements if parents want to exempt children from vaccination for religious or personal reasons.