Department of Health investigates first possible measles case in New Mexico

New Mexico
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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – APRIL 26: In this photo illustration a one dose bottle of measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine, made by MERCK, is held up at the Salt Lake County Health Department on April 26, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo Illustration by George Frey/Getty Images)

The New Mexico Department of Health is investigating a possible case of measles in southern New Mexico. Health officials say an individual in Sierra County could possibly be infected with the highly contagious virus. 

Tests must be performed to positively diagnose the patient with measles. Symptoms of the virus include a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and a sore throat. Finally, the most recognizable symptom, a rash, will spread across the body. 

The last reported case of measles in New Mexico was in 2014. The Santa Fe New Mexican recently reported that medical professionals say the risk of contracting the virus is climbing due to a number of children receiving exemptions from routine immunizations. 

In late April, over 1,000 students and staff at two Los Angeles universities had to be quarantined on campus or sent home due to a measles outbreak. According to the Center for Disease Control, 764 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 23 states from January 1 to May 3, 2019.

It is the greatest number of cases reported in America since 1994. Measles was declared eliminated in the year 2000.

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