Arizona Measles Outbreak

An infectious virus is spreading in Arizona and health officials are worried that thousands of people could be affected. A measles outbreak, that likely started at a federal detention center in Eloy, is expected to grow in the coming days.

From KJZZ Public Radio in Phoenix:

Arizona is facing its first major measles outbreak since early last year. This most recent outbreak originated at a federal detention facility in Eloy.

Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said she expects that number to keep growing. 

“We know that’s we’ve got exposure that happened before public health had been notified. So what our goal is to do then is to get into contact with those cases. Identify where they’ve been,” Christ said. 

KYMA-TV in Yuma ran a headline on its website that read, “Measles outbreak expected to affect thousands more in Arizona.” The station also put together a short video story that you can watch by clicking here or on the picture below.


The latest report from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) indicates more than a dozen confirmed cases in Pinal County. Identified exposure sites and additional information related to the measles outbreak can be found at

If you think you may have the measles, the ADHS website suggests you do the following:

  • 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 or urgent care center. Please call before going to let them know you may have measles. For more information on measles’ signs and symptoms or where you may find vaccine, please check with your healthcare provider or your county health department.

As the virus grows in our state, those at the greatest risk of being infected are children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. According to a story on the Tucson News Now website:

“The first symptoms of measles infection generally appear seven to 14 days after exposure, but it can take as long as 21 days for them to manifest.

  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes

The rash for which measles is known breaks out within three to five days of those initial symptoms appearing.”

Let us know how your community is dealing with the outbreak. We will continue to update this story as we get new information. These types of public health situations remind us that communication is one of the key elements in our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!



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