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5th confirmed case of measles in El Paso; city immunization clinics expand hours

Health officials announced expanded hours for the city’s immunization clinics after a fifth case of the measles was confirmed in El Paso on Monday.

The latest measles’ victim was identified as a woman in her early 30’s.

Three toddlers and a woman in her late 40s are the other El Paso measles victims, officials said previously.

The newly diagnosed woman “did not report any visits to public places where possible exposure to others may have occurred, so at this time there is no list of dates, times or locations of which we can provide,” said Robert Resendes, the city of El Paso’s public health director.

After the initial cases were reported earlier this month, health officials expressed concern that personnel at Fort Bliss might have been exposed. So far, there’s been no word of anyone at the base being diagnosed with the highly-contagious respiratory disease.

The measles’ outbreak, the first such outbreak in El Paso in roughly a quarter-century, comes as the city health department is on a push to vaccinate as many children as possible before the start of the new school year.

Health officials are advising local school superintendents “to be especially vigilant about reviewing vaccine records for students across the area.”

To make it easier for parents to vaccinate their kids, the city said all three Department of Public Health Immunization Clinics will begin operating Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will remain open during the lunch hour. Clinic locations are in Central El Paso (5115 El Paso Drive), Henderson (721 South Mesa Street), and Ysleta (110 Candelaria Road). Officials said appointments can be made by calling 915-212-6555.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says measles is spread through coughing and sneezing and the disease usually begins with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Those symptoms are typically followed by a rash that spreads from the head down to the hands and feet, according to the CDC.

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