Maricopa County confirms its first case of measles traceable to the Disneyland outbreak. The County’s Disease Control Chief, Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine says a woman in her ‘50’s contracted the disease on her Disneyland visit in mid- December.

7 to 12 days after that exposure, the Dr. says the patient developed a fever, cough, runny nose , red watery eyes, and shortly afterwards, a rash. Sunenshine says it’s that rash that makes a difference between the flu and the measles.  Because the woman is in her ‘50’s, the Dr. says, chances are the patient was not vaccinated or failed to get two shots , particularly if she was born after 1957 when the two doses were required. 

The Dr. says the reason measles has been making a comeback in recent years is because more people are not vaccinating their children. But she emphasizes, it’s the vaccine that helps keep this potentially fatal disease in check. Plus, Sunenshine says, if a child is not vaccinated and a measles outbreak occurs at school, school officials will force that child to stay out of school for 21 days, which doubtless means a significant loss of school time over the year.

As for the woman, the Dr. says she has recovered. But it’s highly likely more measles cases will crop up in Maricopa County.

–Barbara Villa