By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, In Homeland Security
Health officials in Arizona are monitoring approximately 1,000 people, including 200 children, for signs of the measles.
The children may have caught the measles at a Phoenix-area medical facility that treated a woman with the disease. Officials don’t know if the monitored children received prior vaccinations against the disease.
There are currently 95 nationwide confirmed cases of the measles resulting from an outbreak that started in California’s Disney parks.
Arizona residents with measles symptoms were told this week to stay away from clinics and other health care facilities, and health officials asked unvaccinated people with recent measles exposure to remain at home for 21 days or wear a mask in public areas.
“To stay in your house for 21 days is hard,” said Arizona’s State Health Services director Will Humble. “But we need people to follow those recommendations, because all it takes is a quick trip to the Costco before you’re ill and, ‘bam,’ you’ve just exposed a few hundred people.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the California Department of Public Health states there are 79 confirmed cases in California, and 52 cases originated in Disney amusement parks. In addition to Arizona and California, confirmed cases of the measles were found in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nebraska and Utah. A majority of the patients were not vaccinated, and health officials in each state are encouraging all residents to get the measles shot. Mexico is also reporting cases of the measles.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease spread by a virus though the air via sneezing and coughing. Symptoms usually start with a fever, sore throat and runny nose followed by a full-body rash. The CDC warns that complications are more likely in adults and include diarrhea, ear infections and pneumonia.
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