In a follow-up on the measles situation in Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services is now reporting 10 measles cases in the state in 2019.

Image/Texas DSHS
Image/Texas DSHS

This is more than the total reported in all of 2018. Texas reported nine cases of measles in 2018 and one in 2017.

The latest case is in an adult traveler visiting Guadalupe County from the Philippines, where there is an ongoing measles outbreak. 

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. People with measles should stay home from work or school during that period.

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. Children too young to be vaccinated or who have only had one dose of vaccine are more likely to get infected and more likely to have severe complications if they do get sick, so immunization is especially important for adults and older children who are around infants and toddlers. Parents of children who have not been immunized, because they’re too young or for any other reason, may want to discuss options for protecting their child with their health care provider.

According to the CDC, from January 1 to February 28, 2019, 206 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 11 states.

The states that have reported cases to CDC are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.