The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed that a woman in her late 40’s and a male toddler have tested positive for measles (rubeola).
“Measles is so contagious that someone who has the disease should expect that 90 percent of the people around them, who are not immune, could become infected,” said Bruce Parsons, Assistant Public Health Director.
“There is a 9 day window of time, four days before and four days after the onset of the rash where the disease can be spread. This is why we need residents who may have unknowingly come into contact with these individuals to be especially vigilant in identifying any symptoms they may have.”
This highly-contagious respiratory disease is caused by a virus that spreads through coughing and sneezing but it is preventable via vaccination. 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.
Anyone who visited the following places on the dates noted below should review his/her immunization status to confirm that they are properly immunized against measles.
Date Location Time
Thu, 6/27/19 Neighborhood Walmart (10301 Alameda) 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Fri, 6/28/19 Subway at Ft. Bliss (1333 Cassidy) 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sat, 6/29/19 Bassett Place Mall-Target, Kohl’s, Jewelry Box 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sun, 6/30/19 Ft. Bliss PX, Exchange, Food Court noon – 4:30 p.m.
Mon, 7/1/19 Walmart at Americas (9441 Alameda) 4:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.
1) visited any of the above locations on the dates and times referenced AND
2) develops a fever and rash, should call their health care provider immediately for evaluation and testing, as advised by your provider.
Additionally, those who are concerned that they may have been exposed or who would like more information may call 2-1-1 to receive further instructions.
An investigation to determine if there is a link between the two cases is still being conducted.
Health department officials added, “It should be noted that in El Paso, by the time children enter school in El Paso, 95.4% of the student population have been fully immunized with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. Two doses of this vaccine are 97% effective against measles.”
The DPH is working with State and Fort Bliss officials to ensure a swift and complete response to stop/lessen additional spread of the disease.
The most recent case of measles in El Paso was confirmed back in 1993 with an outbreak recorded in 1990.
To learn more about measles and the MMR vaccine, visit the CDC website