Eradicated In U.S. In 2000, Measles Re-Emerges As Public Health Threat

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 6:10pm
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2019 - 11:47am
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
An illustration of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle.

An international traveler who tested positive for measles this month in the Valley possibly exposed others when he visited Arizona Mills shopping mall and the Arizona Grand Resort.

Eradicated in the U.S. in 2000, measles has re-emerged as a public health threat. More than 1,200 measles cases have been diagnosed in the U.S this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Matthew Speer with ASU’s College of Health Solutions said those who are unvaccinated are at a greater risk for the potentially deadly disease. But even those who are vaccinated face some risk. 

“If both of them were to contract the measles, the one that was vaccinated has a more mild form or more mild symptoms as a result of getting the measles as compared to or relative to the person that did not get vaccinated," Speer said. 

For those who have never been vaccinated against measles, Speer said it’s not too late. A single does of the vaccine is 93% effective.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to correct the date of eradication.

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