New Mexico health officials are reporting the first confirmed case of measles in the state since 2012. The 1-year-old victim was released from the hospital yesterday, but health officials are taking the opportunity to remind residents to get vaccinated.
Measles is very contagious, but it’s also very rare and completely preventable by vaccine. But when cases do occur in unvaccinated children—like the one this week—the consequences can be serious. Measles can cause pneumonia and potentially fatal brain infections.
“Any time we have a vaccine-preventable disease like measles that pops up, everyone should be checking their own vaccination status,” said state Epidemiologist Michael Landen. “They should check their vaccination records for themselves and their family, and they should make sure they’re up to date.”
Health Department officials are undergoing a follow-up investigation to identify who was potentially exposed to the disease.