Texas Confirms 6 Measles Cases During 2019
Texas DSHS is urging healthcare providers to consider measles when diagnosing patients
Six cases of the measles have been confirmed in Texas during 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) confirmed on February 6, 2019.
Five of these measles cases are in the greater Houston area and 1 case was reported in Bell County, which is located near Temple, TX.
These six measles cases during the first month of 2019 are alarming since DSHS only confirmed 9 cases during all of 2018, and 1 during 2017.
As of February 1, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had confirmed 79 individual cases of measles from 10 states, during 2019.
And, the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization and other news sources reported significant increases in measles cases during the week ending February 2, 2019.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, without specific antiviral treatment available, says the CDC.
According to Chris Van Deusen, Director of Media Relations for DSHS, ‘Early identification, along with immunization, are key to preventing measles outbreaks.’
Mr. Van Deusen added in an email, ‘Measles is so contagious that if someone has it, 90 percent of the people around that person who are not immune could become infected.’
Both the DSHS and the CDC recommend children get 1 dose of measles vaccine at 12-15 months of age, and then the 2nd dose at 4-6 years.
Measles vaccines are reported to be very effective, protecting people 97 percent of the time after 2 doses.
"Getting vaccinated protects you as well as those who are unable to receive vaccines due to age or medical conditions," said Michelle Beall, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacist, Brookshire Grocery Company.
"With the increase in people choosing not to vaccinate, diseases that had become uncommon are now resurfacing. This means healthcare providers must keep them in mind when diagnosing patients," Beall continued.
Unfortunately, children too young to be vaccinated or who have only had 1 dose of MMR vaccine are more likely to become infected, says the CDC.
Measles is often brought into the United States by unvaccinated people who become infected in other countries, says the CDC.
These international travelers then spread measles upon their return, which cause outbreaks in the USA.
International travelers can request a vaccine appointment with a pharmacy at Vax-Before-Travel.
The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information.
And, measles vaccine discounts can be found here.
Vaccines, similar to medications, can cause side effects, says the CDC. Significant vaccine side effects should be reported to the CDC.