EL PASO, Texas - The national measles outbreak has now hit El Paso, with public health officials confirming two cases on Wednesday.
The city health department said a woman in her late 40’s and a boy toddler each tested positive for the highly-contagious respiratory disease.
In addition, others — including some people at Fort Bliss — may have been exposed and local officials are urging them to get vaccinated to protect themselves.
Measles is caused by a virus that can easily spread through coughing and sneezing — but experts note it is also preventable.
“Measles is so contagious that someone who has the disease should expect that 90 percent of the people around them, who are not immune, could become infected,” said Bruce Parsons, the city of El Paso's assistant public health director.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says the disease usually begins with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Those symptoms are then followed by a rash that spreads from the head down to the hands and feet, according to the CDC.
More than 1,000 measles cases have been reported so far across the nation, in what is the worst U.S. measles outbreak in 27 years, according to the Associated Press.
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health has provided a list of places — including some at Fort Bliss — where people may have been exposed. Officials said anyone who visited the following places on the dates noted below should ensure they are properly immunized against the measles.
Thu, 6/27/19 Neighborhood Walmart (10301 Alameda) 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Fri, 6/28/19 Subway at Ft. Bliss (1333 Cassidy) 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sat, 6/29/19 Bassett Place Mall-Target, Kohl’s, Jewelry Box 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sun, 6/30/19 Ft. Bliss PX, Exchange, Food Court noon - 4:30 p.m.
Mon, 7/1/19 Walmart at Americas (9441 Alameda) 4:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m.