On Monday afternoon, officials with the City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed that a second male toddler has tested positive for measles (rubeola).
The announcement comes nearly a week after the first two cases in more than 25 years were reported by the DPH in El Paso.
“Because El Paso’s immunization rates are so high, we don’t expect to see a huge number of cases emerge,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “We know that the effectiveness of the vaccine, especially after the recommended two doses, is about 97 percent.”
Unfortunately the virus is also very contagious. Approximately 90 percent of people who are not vaccinated, who are exposed to the virus will become infected by this respiratory disease. It spreads 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.
It is not believed this second toddler exposed the general public to the disease, however, those who are concerned that they are showing signs and symptoms should visit their medical care provider, or those who would like more information may call 2-1-1 to receive further instructions.
By the time a child enters school in El Paso, 95.4% of the student population have been fully immunized with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
To learn more about measles and the MMR vaccine please visit the El Paso Health webpage.