Local doctors: Measles cases on the rise

Local doctors: Measles cases on the rise
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - In 2010, measles were declared extinct in North America. But in just eight years, the virus has resurfaced.

"This year in the U.S., there's been 123 cases of measles," said Medical Director of Neighbors Emergency Center, Donald Hubbard. "That's up from last year when there was 86 cases of measles."

Hubbard said six cases of the measles, resulting from two separate outbreaks, have been reported in Texas this year.

"All six of those cases the person was not vaccinated against measles," he said. "They have been mainly clustered in the North Texas area, the Dallas-Forth Worth area."

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The first symptoms of the measles include a fever ranging from 102 to 104 as well as coughing.

"After about three or four days of fever and cough, you start to get a rash and the rash will usually start at the hairline and work it's way down to cover the whole body and it's just a red, raised rash," said Hubbard.

The measles is contracted by touching surfaces with the cough droplets of someone who is infected.

It spreads the easiest in crowded places like schools, colleges and airplanes.

Hubbard also said washing your hands, using alcohol-based sanitizer and wiping countertops and doorknobs is the best way to guard yourself against the virus.

The rise in measles cases can also be attributed to more parents choosing not to get their children vaccinated.

According to the state Department of State Health Services, this caused more than 56,000 Texas students of all grade levels to opt out in the last school year.

"There is no good reason not to get your children vaccinated," said Hubbard. "I believe that vaccinations have saved many lives and they're definitely a good thing."

It can take 10 to 14 days for those exposed to the virus to start showing symptoms.

While there's no specific treatment for measles, those infected are advised to see their physician to treat the symptoms.

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