After measles outbreak, Arizona health officials urge detention facility workers to get vaccinated

Brian Zimmerman - Print  | 

Dozens of employees at the immigration-detention facility in Eloy, Ariz., where an outbreak of the measles has led to 22 infections in the state, are currently unvaccinated and may be putting the public at risk of exposure whenever they leave the facility, according to The Arizona Republic.

"Unfortunately there are not any requirements for them to be vaccinated, and so unfortunately because measles is so highly infectious, they were being exposed to it, contracting the disease, and our worry is that they are bringing it out into the community and spreading it among community members," Cara Crist, MD, told the Republic.

The 22 confirmed measles cases include 12 current detainees, nine workers and one detainee who was released prior to exhibiting symptoms. Health officials are still searching for the primary source of the outbreak.

Dr. Crist said, "It could have been a detainee. It could have been a visitor. It could have been an employee returning from vacation. We just don't know at this point."

According to the Republic, while all the detainees have been vaccinated since the outbreak was announced on May 27, as of late June approximately 40 percent of the facilities employees had yet to be vaccinated or provide documentation of immunity.

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