After the year 2000, measles was thought to have been officially “eliminated” from the United States. However, a wave of recent cases across the country is giving a doctors and public health officials renewed urgency in warning the public about the dangers of this virus.
Unfortunately, Harris County Public Health has recently confirmed four cases of measles in our region, Measles can be dangerous and highly contagious, especially for babies and young children. About 1 out of 4 people who get measles will be hospitalized. Precinct One families should take precautions after a resurgence of measles cases in Harris County over the last several weeks.
Protect Your Family: Vaccines are a Safe and Effective Way to Prevent Measles
While measles is highly contagious, the illness can be prevented with immunization through vaccines. However, if one person is infectious with measles, 9 out of 10 people who are not vaccinated and who come into contact with that person will become infected. Vaccines are the best defense against measles. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children receive two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine at the following ages to be fully protected:
- The first dose at 12 through 15 months of age
- The second dose at 4 through 6 years of age
Measles is a very dangerous disease, but you can protect your family. Vaccinations are safe and only take a few minutes to administer. If you or your family members have not been fully vaccinated, please contact your health care provider or click here for information on Harris County Public Health’s Immunization Program. And remember, if your child has not received both doses of the vaccine—they are not fully protected.
Learn About Measles: Know the Symptoms and How it Spreads
Measles is an airborne virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms of measles include:
- high fever
- runny nose
- red-watery eyes
- sore throat
- rash break out 3-5 days after symptoms begin
Harris County Public Health has recently created a website for measles with the latest information on these recent cases as well as helpful diagnostic and clinical information. Please visit this site to learn more or contact Harris County Public Health at (713) 439-6000.