New measles cases discovered in Houston amid outbreaks elsewhere

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

Those who may have been exposed and believe they have measles symptoms are asked to contact their healthcare provider prior to visiting their offices to avoid more exposure.

The health department said they are taking all precautionary measures to prevent the disease from spreading.

In Harris County, two boys and a woman are being treated for measles.

The cases, which were announced Monday, include three in the Houston area, one in Galveston County and one in Montgomery County.

The confirmed case of measles is in a child residing in Western Bell County. The identities of the patients have not been released by DSHS, but the health department said the children were either too young to be vaccinated or had not completed the two-part vaccination series.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of measles vaccine, one given at between 12 months and 15 months of age and one between ages 4 and 6.

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Demand for measles vaccine has surged in the Washington county where the highly contagious virus is linked to more than 50 confirmed illnesses this year - including among people who had previously shunned the shots.

The new measles cases in Houston bring the total number of cases in Texas to six so far in 2019.

"Getting vaccinated protects you as well as those who are unable to receive vaccines due to age or medical conditions", said Michelle Beall, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacist, Brookshire Grocery Company.

Measles is an airborne virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person and can be spread through coughing and sneezing. Officials say they had stayed at home and in contact with health officials.

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.

In 2018, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 diagnosed cases of measles in the U.S.

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