Measles Outbreak - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Measles Outbreak

A measles outbreak that started in California has spread to 14 other states.

Even though it hasn't spread to Texoma, health officials are urging everyone to get their measles vaccine.  Especially, since there is an outbreak going on right now.  

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention said this outbreak has infected 84 people from 14 states and it keeps spreading.

“It spreads like wildfire and there's no way to control it,” Dr. Anil Gajare, a pediatrician for the Community Healthcare Center said.

The CDC said last year they saw a record number of cases in the U.S.  There were 644 cases of the measles that spread across 27 states in a total of 23 outbreaks.  They said this is the greatest number of cases in the U.S. since 2000.

Dr. Gajare said nine out of ten people who are exposed to the virus will catch it.

“It starts as the flu with a high grade fever of about 101 and then comes the rash,” he said.

He explained the rash will go on for three days or longer. 

Dr. Gajare said the people at the highest risk of contracting the measles are children and the elderly.  This is because they have a weaker immune system.  He said people who have never gotten the vaccination are also at a great risk of getting the measles.

Part of the reason it's making a comeback, he said, is because some parents aren't getting their kids vaccinated.  Health officials said parents are worried about the side effects.  However, they said parents are putting their child's life at risk.

Dr. Gajare said another problem is the 14 year age gap where the vaccines weren't as reliable.  This is between 1957 and 1971.

“Before 1957 everyone was exposed to the measles at the right age,” he said, “So, that's why they don't need the vaccines.”

After 1971 he said the vaccine was required so people became immune.

So, if you are in the age group where the vaccine wasn't as reliable, or you not sure, there is a blood test you can take to check your immunity.

Doctors said if you get the measles, you should see your primary doctor as soon as possible.  Also, isolate yourself from others so it doesn't spread.  However, even if you do that, doctors will test the people who have been around you.

Doctors said if you have a child who gets the measles and is in school, they will be sent home for at least 21 days.

A list of the symptoms are below:

-       Fever
-       Dry cough
-       Runny nose
-       Sore throat
-       Inflamed eyes
-       Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth or the inner lining of the cheek
-       A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6
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