Measles cases reported in several Houston-area communities

Alicia Farmer
February 6, 2019

The Bell County Public Health District said they can confirm a possible measles case in a child in Western Bell County on Monday.

Six cases of the measles have been confirmed in Texas in recent days, health officials say. An additional case was confirmed in King County, which includes Seattle, and in Multnomah County, Oregon, which includes Portland and lies across the Columbia River from Clark County.

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

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 349 cases of measles in the all of 2018, whereas the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reported that in just the month of November 2018, there were 385 cases reported in 16 countries in the European Union.

"These outbreaks are associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel and Ukraine, where large measles outbreaks are occurring", the CDC says. All individuals are children that were either unvaccinated or had not completed the vaccine series.

Beckham said new cases of measles are becoming more common than before, saying the last time they had a confirmed case was a year ago. Measles can be exceptionally unsafe for young children and infants.

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Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, says the response would be immediate.

The rapid spread the virus prompted Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency at the end of January, saying the outbreak represented an "extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties".

"There's been ongoing measles outbreaks in Europe for years and it's largely because of vaccine refusal", he said.

While the majority of children in Donegal still receive the MMR vaccine, the numbers have been dropping slightly over the past few years. "The recommended two doses of the measles vaccine provide even greater protection - 97 percent".

The disease then spread when that individual came into contact with others who have not been vaccinated for measles.

Measles infection typically causes a rash, fever, conjunctivitis (red eyes), cough or runny nose.

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