EL PASO, Texas – The number of confirmed measles cases in El Paso has been raised to three on Monday, marking what local health officials reported being the first upsurge of highly contagious respiratory disease in addition to the disease. a quarter century.
The last victim was an infant boy, the city's health department said. He joined a woman in her late forties and another infant, diagnosed last week in a national epidemic that finally reached the border.
Despite the additional case confirmed on Monday, officials said they were not expecting to see many more people diagnosed with measles.
"El Paso's vaccination rates are so high, we do not expect to see a considerable number of cases emerge," said Robert Resendes, public health director of the city of El Paso.
After the first two cases were reported last week, health officials said they feared the staff at Fort Bliss had been exposed. According to Monday's diagnosis, Resendes said, "We do not think this second child has exposed the general public to the disease."
Measles is caused by a virus that can easily spread through coughing and sneezing – but experts say it can also be prevented by getting vaccinated.
"We know that the effectiveness of the vaccine, especially after the two recommended doses, is about 97%," Resendes said.
The disease usually starts with fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, according to the US Center for Disease Control. These symptoms are then followed by a rash that extends from the head to the hands and feet.
To date, more than 1,000 cases of measles have been diagnosed across the country. According to the Associated Press, it is the worst measles outbreak in the United States for 27 years.