The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed that a male toddler has tested positive for measles (rubeola). This is the fourth confirmed case of the virus in El Paso in less than two weeks.
“We need our community to focus on making sure that they are up-to-date with their measles or MMR vaccine,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “When we vaccinate ourselves and our children we are not only protecting ourselves and our family, but also reducing the chances of the disease spreading to others in our community.”
Health officials say this particular virus is very contagious. In fact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 90 percent of people who are not vaccinated, who are exposed to the virus will become infected.
Measles is spread through coughing and sneezing and the disease usually begins with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. These symptoms are followed by a rash that spreads from the head down to the hands and feet.
Measles can live in an airspace where an infected person was, for up to two hours.
Those who are concerned that they are showing signs and symptoms of a measles infection should visit their medical care provider, or those who would like more information may call 2-1-1 to receive further instructions.
It had been more than 25 years since El Paso saw its last case of measles before these four recent cases.
To learn more about measles and the MMR vaccine please visit www.EPHealth.com.