TUCSON - Pima County Health Department officials have so far made contact with about 600 people who may have been exposed to measles and are now looking for more people who may have been infected.
For the first time in 15 to 20 years, there's one confirmed case of measles in Pima County, said health department spokeswoman Patty Woodcock.
The case was confirmed Friday after a tourist from Switzerland went to Northwest Medical Center twice, on Feb. 12 and 13.
The department called 300 potentially exposed people while another 300 have called the Health Department's hot line, said Woodcock.
Health officials estimate about 1,700 people were potentially exposed to measles, Woodcock said.
Those infected will start experiencing symptoms by the weekend because of the diseases 21 day incubation period.
Early symptoms include red eyes, fever, runny nose and cough, followed by a rash that develops in a few days on the face and spreads to the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles is contagious four days before the rash appears.
Measles is transferred through the air and is highly contagious, therefore all patients who were at Northwest Medical Center between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 12 and 10 a.m. Feb. 13 to midnight Feb. 14 are encouraged to call the Pima County Health Department, health officials said.