Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Health officials say 5 cases of measles confirmed in Texas

Health officials say 5 cases of measles confirmed in Texas

Washington and NY, which has seen about 200 people infected with measles in recent months, are the only states with current outbreaks, the agency says.

"We're just happy that we're prepared and that there is vaccine available". Last year there were 372 cases and this year, as of January 31, the Center for Disease Control has confirmed 79 cases.

The Portland area is an anti-vaccination hot spot, and state data show only about 77 percent of Clark County kindergarteners had completed their vaccinations for the 2017-2018 school year, far below the roughly 95 percent of people that health experts say should be vaccinated to create "herd immunity" against a contagious disease like measles.

Health officials have long feared an outbreak in the area, given the rampant skepticism of vaccines driven by misinformation and fear-mongering by anti-vaccine advocates.

Measles is a viral infection that causes a rash over the entire body. In King County, the rise was a more modest 13 percent, from 3,960 doses to 4,480.

"Measles in Washington has spread and health officials urge immunization", the Washington State Department of Health says. "The science is completely clear that childhood vax are not only good because they prevent all of these disgusting illnesses, but they are also completely safe". The outbreak in Clark County has been concentrated mostly among unvaccinated children.

"I would rather it not take an outbreak for this to happen", he said.

"This is a reminder for people to be on guard and be up to date on their vaccinations", said Dr. Umair A. Shah, executive director for Harris County Public Health.

The health department said there are two other potential cases of measles that are pending as they wait for test results.

They said there's no shortage of these vaccines in the community, and they encourage anyone who hasn't received it to get it done.

Measles is an airborne disease which is highly contagious but it is preventable.

The measles outbreak reported in the northwest has made its way to Texas. Last year, 372 measles cases were confirmed nationwide, the most since an outbreak in 2014 sickened 667 people.

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