Measles outbreak sends vaccine demand soaring, even among the hesitant

Kaley McLachlan-Burton an environmental outreach specialist with Clark County Public Health monito

Measles outbreak sends vaccine demand soaring, even among the hesitant

The announcement of this case in North Texas comes after 31 cases of measles were reported last month in Portland, Oregon, most of which occurred in children under the age of 10.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, "Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus".

Three confirmed measles cases in Harris County, one in Galveston County and another in Montgomery County have public health officials urging parents to have their children vaccinated.

As alarming as some of the recent numbers are, it pales in comparison to what measles used to be in the United States.

These new Multnomah County cases are linked to the Clark County outbreak.

Even though Arizona does not now have a reported case of measles, the state has one of the highest rates of exemptions for at least one vaccine that's required for childcare, kindergarten or sixth grade.

Denton County officials said they do not believe their case and the Houston ones are connected. Four of the cases involve children under the age of 2, while the fifth involves a woman in her 30s, news station KHOU reported.

Children should receive measles vaccination via one dose of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) between twelve to fifteen months of age, and another dose prior to entering school, between four to six years of age. Three of those suspected cases were unvaccinated and received the vaccine after 72 hours after exposure.

According to the Texas DSHS, "Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing".

The three individuals involved in the new cases were in close contact with the first Multnomah County resident who tested positive for measles January 25, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Before the vaccine was developed in 1963, there were 4 million cases of measles every year.

"We're hopeful and any time we see that there are no new exposure locations that's helpful", said Marissa Armstrong, spokeswoman for the Clark County Public Health.

Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, red eyes, sore throat and a rash that spreads all over the body.

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