First case of measles confirmed in New Mexico

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The New Mexico Department of Health confirmed a case of measles in a 1-year-old child from Sierra County Friday.

This is the first measles case in the state since December 2014.

Sierra County is in the southwest of New Mexico and has about 12,000 residents.

Measles is a highly contagious disease and easily transmitted person-to-person through droplets or through the air. Early symptoms include fever, red eyes, runny nose and cough.

On May 8, officials reported they were investigating the case in Sierra County.

“We have worked with the clinic that treated the child and the patient’s family to identify people who may have been exposed so we can prevent more cases of the disease,” said Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel. “We encourage everyone to check whether you and your family have been vaccinated to protect against measles. Immunization is the best tool we have to protect people from measles.”

Nationally, officials have said more than 760 cases have been reported as of May 2. It's the most in the U.S. since 1994, when 963 were reported.

In all, 23 states have reported cases this year.

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