One case of measles confirmed in Bell County

Alicia Farmer
February 7, 2019

- One case of measles has been confirmed in Bell County.

Demand for measles vaccines leapt 500 percent last month in Clark County, Washington-a hotbed for anti-vaccine sentiment that has now become the epicenter of a ferocious measles outbreak. The outbreak in Clark County has been concentrated mostly among unvaccinated children. However, a recent outbreak of measles has affected at least 50 people in Washington state.

This, the HSE says, is why measles outbreaks are occurring in Ireland and across Europe.

Five measles cases were reported in Harris, Montgomery and Galveston country earlier this week.

The case has not been linked to any other cases at this time, the health department said.

Denton County Public Health confirmed the case Wednesday and is working to identify and contact other people who may have been exposed.

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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.

All three cases are children who were not vaccinated or did not complete their vaccine series. Forty-two patients were not immunized against the virus, while health officials had not verified the immunization status of six patients. Anyone born since 1978 who is unsure if they have received two doses of a measles containing vaccine, such as MMR, should speak with their GP.

"The measles vaccine isn't flawless, but one dose is 93 percent effective at preventing illness", Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County's health officer, said in a statement. "The recommended two doses of the measles vaccine provide even greater protection - 97 percent".

Officials say vaccinations levels are falling in several Texas counties, and anything below a 95 percent vaccination rate is considered unsafe.

Symptoms include a high fever, coughing, runny nose and watery, red eyes between seven and 14 days after infection, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says.

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