The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is reporting 11 cases of measles as of this week. Last week, the state surpassed the total number in all of 2018 when there were nine confirmed cases.
In 2017, Texas only had one case of measles. One case has been confirmed in the counties of Bell, Collin, Centon, Galveston, Guadalupe, Jefferson and Montgomery. Four cases have been confirmed in Harris County.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness transmitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes virus particles into the air. It’s so contagious that if one person is sick and spreading measles, nine out of 10 people around them who aren’t immune will get it, too.
The illness usually starts a week or two after someone is exposed to the virus with symptoms like a high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. A few days later, the telltale rash breaks out as flat, red spots on the face and then spreads down the neck and trunk to the rest of the body. A person is contagious about four days before the rash appears to four days after.
The best way to prevent getting sick is to be immunized with two doses of the measles vaccine. DSHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend children receive one dose at 12 to 15 months of age and another at 4 to 6 years. DSHS will continue to update case counts for the current year.
This story originally published by Strategic Partnerships, Inc.