New measles cases discovered in Houston amid outbreaks elsewhere

Maricruz Casares
Febrero 5, 2019

An outbreak in Washington has led to about 50 cases, according to various health departments in the state. Clark County reported that 42 of the 49 patients had not been vaccinated against measles.

Goforth is a registered nurse with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, she said there are no reported cases locally, but the risk is a possibility if people are not vaccinated.

On Jan. 22, Clark County health officials declared a public health emergency.

At least three of the children affected by the highly contagious disease had received their first dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, according to KHOU.

"The anti-vaccine movement is becoming more common where parents want to raise their children in a natural way, but what they are doing is leaving their child open to diseases", Maldonado said. As many as 1 out of every 20 children with measles will get pneumonia, which can also be deadly, the agency reports. In the rare case of deficiency, vitamin A can be used to prevent severe complications of measles, including blindness and death. More than 10,000 micrograms per day can cause long-term damage, such as bone thinning and liver damage.

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In all, at least 79 cases have been reported nationwide this year. "We might start getting to a point where we have a critical mass un-immunized children, so that if measles gets introduced into a community, that may be the spark to spread from one kid to another to another.and that may be the spark for measles to get re-established in the United States". It is recommended that children receive the vaccine in two doses: the first between the ages of 12 months and 15 months and the second between the ages of 4 and 6 years old.

"The increase in the anti-vaccine people is because they have never seen the disease", Leisner said. To create "herd immunity" that helps protect those who can't get the vaccine (such as young infants or those with weak immune systems), you need about 95% vaccination, so the 94% isn't flawless - and in some states and communities, that number is even lower.

If you were born before 1960, there is a possibility you have had the measles infection.

Measles symptoms include a fever, a dry cough, a runny nose, a sore throat and inflamed eyes. If left untreated, encephalitis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the brain, can develop.

Dr. Shamard Charles is a physician-journalist for NBC News and Today, reporting on health policy, public health initiatives, diversity in medicine, and new developments in health care research and medical treatments.

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