First measles case in Interior

First measles case in Interior

Measles cases are rising globally, including in wealthy nations such as the United States and Germany, where some parents shun the vaccines mostly for philosophical or religious reasons, or concerns - debunked by medical science - that the vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) could cause autism.

While measles was officially eradicated in Canada in 1998, there have been periodic outbreaks in communities where vaccination is low, including an outbreak in Chilliwack in 2014.

According to the public health agencies, the infant with the confirmed case had Asia-related travel.

Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The Pima County Public Health Department and the Arizona Department of Health Services are working to determine if there was any community exposure to the disease. The infection begins with a fever, red eyes, cough, and runny nose.

The outbreak started about two weeks ago, with vaccine supplies meant to last a month being used up in two days.

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"Unimmunised people who come within 2 metres of an infectious person, however briefly, have a 90 per cent chance of contracting measles", the board said.

People who think they might have been exposed to measles or have symptoms are asked to contact their general practice first.

One or two out of every 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the "best care", the CDC said.

Children and young adults (age range 5 years to 28 years) who are either not immunised or who have only received one MMR dose to date.

Those who think they may have contracted measles should call ahead to their doctor's office or hospital before attending so that measures to prevent the virus' further spread can be implemented.

The case in Cochise County was reported at Elfrida Elementary school.