Measles case confirmed in Central Texas

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

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 is so contagious that if one person has it, 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

Multnomah County's communicable disease team checks in daily with people suspected of being exposed to measles to make sure they can work and do other normal life responsibilities without infecting other people.

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

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

Measles is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or through the air when the infected person coughs or sneezes. People who have never received a measles vaccine are susceptible to the disease, which can be deadly. It is important that you do not visit your GP without first letting him or her know that you or your child may have measles. The CDC notes that two doses of the MMR vaccine are 97 percent effective, while one dose is 93 percent effective.

"Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent measles", Denton County public health director Dr. Matt Richardson said in a written statement. The vaccine can reduce the risk of infection if gotten within 72 hours after exposure to the virus.

That's a huge rise in a county where vaccination rates lag - only 76.5 percent of kindergartners had all the required immunizations for the 2017-18 school year.

Dr. Patrick Ludke says people in OR are at risk because the vaccination rate is not as good as it could be for measles.

Statewide in Washington, orders for measles vaccine jumped about 30 percent, climbing from 12,140 doses to 15,780 doses, figures showed.

"Measles in Washington has spread and health officials urge immunization", the Washington State Department of Health says.

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