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WARNING: GALVESTON COUNTY CONFIRMS THREE CASES OF MEASLES

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Health authorities recommends individuals to get protected through vaccination

HOUSTON – Harris County Public Health (HCPH) confirms three measles cases in Harris County. The patients, whose identities will remain confidential, are two boys (under the age of 2) and a 25 – 35 year-old woman.  All three patients reside in northwest Harris County.

Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus. … Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children. While death rates have been falling worldwide as more children receive the measles vaccine, the disease still kills more than 100,000 people a year, most under the age of 5. A person with measles can spread the virus to others for about eight days, starting four days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days.

“Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus, which spreads to others through coughing and sneezing,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Executive Director for HCPH. “However, it is easily preventable. Parents and caregivers have the power to protect their children and themselves from this disease by getting vaccinated.”

The last confirmed report of a measles case in Harris County was by the City of Houston in 2018. This year, there are currently six confirmed reports of measles cases in the state of Texas.

Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children. Measles is an airborne virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms of measles are a high fever, runny nose, cough, red-watery eyes and sore throat that is followed by a rash breakout 3-5 days after symptoms begin.

Measles is highly contagious, and if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around that person will also become infected if they’re not yet vaccinated. About 1 out of 4 people who get measles will be hospitalized. Measles is prevented through the combination MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children get two doses in order to be fully protected:

  • The first dose at 12 through 15 months of age
  • The second dose at 4 through 6 years of age

The best way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccine-preventable
diseases is by immunization. HCPH encourages individuals to contact their health care provider if they show signs and symptoms of measles. For a list of recommended vaccines, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  or speak to your health care provider.

From January 1 to 31, 2019, 79** individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 10 states. The states that have reported cases to CDC are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

Spread of Measles

  • The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.
  • Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.
  • Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
  • Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.

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