On Thursday afternoon, officials with the Department of Public Health declared an end to the summer 2019 measles outbreak.
“This event has once again proven that despite the fact that we had gone 25 years without a case, our team of experts was ready to respond,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “I extend a thank you to the parents in our community for being diligent in keeping their children’s vaccinations current.”
The outbreak affected three toddlers and three adults. The first two cases were diagnosed in early July, and the last case was identified on July 23.
Standard public health protocols declare an outbreak as over when no new cases have been identified for 42 consecutive days because it can take 21 days for symptoms to show in someone who has been infected with the measles. Health officials wait two incubation periods (42 days) out of an abundance of caution.
The outbreak was the first measles cases in the region since 1993. During this outbreak, 88 suspect cases were investigated and tested and found to be negative for the virus.
Bringing the outbreak to an end required a major public health and community response, health officials said. It involved significant resources of staff time, energy, expertise, laboratory capacity and outreach to the affected communities.
The outbreak required significant collaboration among state and local public health agencies, health care systems, schools and childcare centers, workplaces, as well as the El Paso community.
More information on Measles and the MMR Vaccine, as well as the Immunization Program, are available at www.EPHealth.com