Denton County Public Health reports first case of measles

Gillian Flaccus  APA sign is posted at The Vancouver Clinic in Vancouver Wash. to warn patients and visitors of a measles outbreak Jan. 30 2019

Gillian Flaccus APA sign is posted at The Vancouver Clinic in Vancouver Wash. to warn patients and visitors of a measles outbreak Jan. 30 2019

Melissa Sixberry with the Yakima Health District says "now is a good time to check the immunization records of your kids and yourself". Five of the cases involve children, at least some of whom had received one round of the vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get two doses in order to be fully protected. Ten states including Texas have reported measles cases; the states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

The United States is now facing not one but three measles outbreaks, and once again the main culprit is people's refusal to get vaccinated.

To prevent illness, one dose of measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine must be given to unimmunized people within 72 hours of exposure.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, without specific antiviral treatment available, says the CDC. Residents born prior to 1957 are considered immune to measles but those born in 1957 or after should verify vaccination history. Children too young to be vaccinated or who have only had one dose of vaccine are more likely to get infected.

Officials say those people were in close contact with the only other person confirmed to have the measles in Multnomah County. Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat followed by a rash that spreads over the body.

In 2018, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 diagnosed cases of measles in the U.S.

The three individuals involved in the new cases were in close contact with the first Multnomah County resident who tested positive for measles January 25, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

"Our vaccination rates are not so low that I think we are going to be like Italy or Romania that had thousands of cases past year but we could have a few hundred cases", Ludke said.

What's more, the latest update noted all confirmed cases matched a strain of the virus circulating in Eastern Europe.

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