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Austin has a measles case. Would Corpus Christi be ready for one?

Posted at 7:49 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 23:19:24-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With Austin dealing with its first case of measles in decades, KRIS 6 sought to find out if the Coastal Bend is prepared for a case here.

The Nueces County Health Department told us it would have to be tomorrow before they would be free for an interview, but we were able to speak to a physician's assistant at Concentra Urgent Care on SPID.

"Finding the source patient -- if you will -- It would be very important," Marc Stearman said about efforts to keep the virus from spreading. "Then, from the infectious disease; communicable disease moving outward in that ring, to all associated contacts."

That approach is similar to how Austin is handling its case. Stearman thinks Nueces County health officials would identify dates and locations the patient visited while contagious, and get that information out to the public. People can then monitor themselves for symptoms, and if they appear, set up an appointment with a health-care provider.

They would also be advised to keep a close eye on their children.

"Parents, just being very attentive and just watching for some of those symptoms," Stearman said. "If they have any questions, bringing them into health-care providers who can do a better evaluation on you."

The measles does not affect children and adults evenly.

"For adults, it can be not as serious as with the small children," Stearman said. "And it's fully preventable by vaccine."

Two doses of the measles vaccine are required for it to be effective. If you've received one or none, you could catch measles if you make contact with an infected person. But Stearman said there are other viruses out there that worry him more than measles.

"I wouldn't necessarily be any more worried about an isolated measle case than I would a flu epidemic," he said.