HEALTH

Measles cases likely to pop up in Utah this year, health official says

Apr 22, 2024, 3:00 PM

Image shows a person receiving a measles vaccine, Based on national behavior, measles cases are lik...

FILE - In this March 27, 2019, file photo, a woman receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y. (Seth Wenig/Associated Press)

(Seth Wenig/Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — There have been over twice as many measles cases in the nation this year as there were in all of 2023. And while measles hasn’t found its way to Utah this year yet, healthcare professionals say it would not be surprising if some cases popped up over the next several months. 

Last year there were 58 cases of measles across the United States. So far this year there have been 125.

Related: Utah health department urges measles vaccinations as 17 states report cases

Respiratory Disease Epidemiologist for the Utah Department of Health and Human Services Pamela Gomez said it’s hard to predict when an outbreak may happen. But it is likely at some point this year. 

“We are seeing more spread than last year and it would not be altogether unlikely that Utah eventually sees a case.”

Last year there was one case of measles in Utah from someone who traveled out of state.

Gomez said vaccination is the best protection against measles. She also said to be aware of cold-like symptoms with rashes when traveling out of state.

Measles is a virus and can become dangerous for infants and young kids. The CDC reports that symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. The rash associated with measles appears from three to five days after symptoms first appear.

Related: Tracking measles cases in the United States

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Measles cases likely to pop up in Utah this year, health official says