5 measles cases confirmed in Harris, Galveston, Montgomery counties

5 measles cases confirmed in Harris, Galveston, Montgomery counties

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. All three people reside in northwest Harris County, in line with Harris County Public Health.

"These individuals did everything right", said Jennifer Vines, M.D., deputy health officer with Multnomah County. The Houston outbreak comes as new circumstances of measles are being confirmed in Washington state every day, and different instances have been established in Oregon, Georgia, and NY.

The last confirmed report of a measles case in Harris County was by the City of Houston in 2018. Three more possible exposure sites were also identified in Vancouver, Washington, on Wednesday, leading to the possibility of more cases.

Measles is a contagious virus that spreads through the air via coughing and sneezing. About 1 out of 4 people who get measles will be hospitalized. The agency says worldwide travelers returning from Israel and Ukraine-where large outbreaks recently occurred-appear to be spreading the measles in the United States.

"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.

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Unfortunately, children too young to be vaccinated or who have only had 1 dose of MMR vaccine are more likely to become infected, says the CDC.

A hallmark of measles is a rash that begins as flat, red spots on the face and spreads down the neck to the rest of the body.

Signs embrace an excessive fever, coughing, runny nose and watery, pink eyes between seven and 14 days after infection, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says. Health officials say the case is part of the cluster in the region.

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

Measles vaccines are reported to be very effective, protecting people 97 percent of the time after 2 doses.

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