Measles outbreak: 50 confirmed cases

Owen Humphreys  AP

Owen Humphreys AP

"Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent measles", Dr. Matt Richardson, the DCPH Director of Public Health said in a statement.

The health department said there are two other potential cases of measles that are pending as they wait for test results.

Six measles cases have been confirmed in Central Texas as of February 6.

One case of measles has been confirmed in Denton County raising the statewide total to seven, according to health officials. The Pacific Northwest outbreak includes one confirmed case in King County, where Seattle is located, and one in Multnomah County, which includes Portland, Ore.

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.

Measles is an airborne disease which is highly contagious but it is preventable.

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The DSHS is encouraging health care providers in the Houston area to consider a diagnosis of measles for patients showing symptoms after five cases were confirmed this week. Vaccination is incredibly effective at protecting those we love from this infection.

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.

According to the Texas DSHS, "Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing". Other symptoms include a high fever over 101 degrees, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.

Health officials say three of the 11 suspect cases were unimmunized when exposed to measles.

The case is the seventh in Texas in recent days.

The Northwest cases are among three ongoing measles outbreaks in the USA that sickened 79 people in January, according to the CDC. The measles vaccination, MMR, protects against measles, mumps and rubella.

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