A person with measles who visited Tucson at the end of April may have exposed travelers at Tucson International Airport to the disease, public health officials said Wednesday.
The person, who was an out-of-state visitor, traveled to Tucson between April 17 and 29, according to a news release from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The release said the person was potentially contagious and may have exposed the public to the disease at the airport between 6 and 10:40 a.m. Monday, April 29.
The airport is the only community exposure officials know about at this time, said Chris Minnick, a health department spokesman.
“We are working closely with local, state and out-of-state public health partners to make sure we quickly identify any possible exposures that may have occurred while this person was visiting Pima County,” said Marcy Flanagan, director of the Pima County Health Department.
Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, the department said.
Symptoms typically appear seven to 12 days after exposure but can take up to 21 days to appear.
Symptoms include a fever of 101 degrees or higher; red and watery eyes; cough and runny nose; and is followed by a rash that is red, raised and blotchy. The rash begins on the face and moves down the body, lasting five to six days.
“Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease that can spread quickly, so if you or your child are not vaccinated against the disease and you were at the Tucson International Airport, there is a risk of getting measles,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Measles can be prevented with the MMR vaccine, which also protects against mumps and rubella, the department noted.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that kids get two doses of the vaccine, at ages 12 to 15 months and then the second dose at 4 to 6 years, adding that teens and adults should also make sure they are up-to-date on their MMR vaccination.