Measles Outbreak Ends In Pima County

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Pima County Health Department is advising area hospitals and medical providers that the required two incubation period from the last confirmed measles case has passed effectively ending the measles outbreak which began in mid-February. While the initial case count for Pima County was 22, upon retrospective analysis by the Centers for Disease Control, the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Health Department, the final case count was 13 laboratory confirmed and 4 probable measles cases.

The outbreak started with a visit to the Old Pueblo by a traveler from Switzerland and ended five months later with thousands of residents receiving MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccinations, hundreds of case investigations conducted by Health Department staff, and a public health emergency declaration by Pima County.

The following information is provided to give a brief overview of the activities conducted during the outbreak:

* More than 2500 potentially exposed individuals were contacted, advised to obtain post exposure prophylaxis and recommended to maintain quarantine if not immune


* More than 500 suspect cases were evaluated, provided education and followed through the incubation period

* 30 special MMR immunization clinics were held by the Health Department with more than 9,000 shots given

* More than 13,000 hours were recorded by Health Department personnel

* To date, cost estimates exceed $400,000 in expenses to the Health Department

"While I am comfortable in saying Pima County's measles outbreak is over, it is important to stress the need for all health care providers to remain vigilant with regard to measles," stated Michelle McDonald, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for the Pima County Health Department. "With confirmed cases still being diagnosed all over the world, we cannot afford to let our guard down concerning this highly contagious disease."