Cochise County Officials Confirm Case Of Mumps, Measles Confirmed In Pima County

El Frida Elementary School

Cochise County officials have confirmed that a case of mumps was reported at Elfrida Elementary School. Cochise Health and Social Services, the Elfrida Elementary School District informed parents of the situation on March 8.

According to Cochise County officials the case was confirmed late Thursday, March 7.

The student who contracted the disease had not been vaccinated. The student is currently recovering at home and is doing well.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus spread through the air by coughing or contact with infected secretions from the mouth, nose or throat. It is also spread when there is contact with an infected person’s saliva, such as with kissing, shared eating utensils, water bottles, and other items that touch the mouth.

Children usually receive their first mumps vaccination (MMR) at 12-15 months of age, and their second at four to five years old. While the mumps vaccination is highly effective, mumps can occur in vaccinated persons. For this reason, parents should watch for symptoms of mumps, even if their child is vaccinated.

Health department staff have contacted anyone who may have come in contact the student. Parents are also being advised to watch for any signs or symptoms, and to keep their children home if they observe any of the following:

● Swelling and tenderness of one or more of the salivary (spit) glands around the neck and jaw. It is usually the gland located in front of and below the ears by the curve of the jaw.

● Two to three days prior to gland swelling, a low-grade fever may be present, and your student may experience muscle aches, lack of appetite, headache and/or earache.

● Swelling and pain in the testicles can occur in older boys and adult men. Females can have abdominal pain due to the swelling of the ovaries.

● In some cases, mumps will cause meningitis symptoms (stiff neck and headache), which typically go away without problems, but should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

● Rarely, mumps will cause swelling of the brain (encephalitis).

“If you take your child to a healthcare provider with any of these symptoms, it is important to tell them ahead of time that your child has been exposed to mumps so other patients are not exposed during the visit,” said Cochise Health & Social Services Director Carrie Langley in a press release. “If mumps is diagnosed, please notify your school nurse. Your student may return to school on the 6th day after the onset of gland swelling.”

The Pima County Public Health Department announced on Friday that a 12-month-old infant from Pima County has been diagnosed with measles. The confirmed case is in a person with Asia-related travel. The Pima County Public Health Department and ADHS are currently investigating to learn if there was any community exposure to the disease.

“We are working with our healthcare and public health partners to make sure we quickly identify any possible exposures to the community that may have occurred,” said Marcy Flanagan, Director of the Pima County Health Department. “As more and more cities and counties across the United States experience cases of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, we are working hard to prevent that from happening in Pima County.”

Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles symptoms appear seven to 12 days after exposure but may take up to 21 days to appear. It begins with a fever (101 F or higher), red, watery eyes, cough and runny nose and is followed by a rash that is red, raised, and blotchy. The rash begins on the face at the hairline and moves down the body and may last five to six days.

“We know that infectious diseases are just a plane ride away,” Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease that can spread quickly. We recommend that everyone is vaccinated against measles to help keep our communities safe.”

You are immune to measles if you have received two doses of the MMR vaccines or were born before 1957 and have received one MMR vaccine. Health care providers are required to report suspect cases of measles to their local health department.

What to do if you think you have measles:

● If you have a healthcare provider, contact him/her by phone and let them know that you may have been exposed to measles. They will let you know when to visit their office so as not to expose others in the waiting area.

● If you do not have a health care provider, you may need to be seen at your local hospital emergency room/urgent care center. Please call before going to let them know you may have measles.

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