CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — This year more than 1,100 cases of measles have been treated in 30 states, including Texas, and now that kids are heading back to school, this outbreak is even more alarming.
While much of the national outbreak has been centered in New York and California, Texas has not been spared. And is not home-free.
"Measles are very contiguous, it's one of the most contiguous diseases we deal with,” Dr. Jaime Fergie, director of infectious diseases at Driscoll Children's Hospital. “It's airborne transmission, meaning it just takes somebody in a room with you, not very close, sneezing and coughing, is how you can get sick with this."
The symptoms of measles can take up to 10 days after exposure to show. It starts with a high fever -- up to 103 -- then a few days later, a rash appears on the face, followed shortly by bumps all over the body.
"In a classroom it would be very, very easy to transmit,” Dr. Fergie said. “So that is the reason vaccination is key, and it's the most important thing parents need to remember."
This year in the U.S. alone, there have been almost 1,200 cases of the measles, this being the most in the past 25 years. Thankfully, there have only been 21 cases in Texas."
None of those cases, to date, were reported in the Coastal Bend. The reason for this, and the only way to prevent the disease: vaccination.
"Texas requires for every district, and throughout the state, need to be current on your immunizations for school,” said registered nurse Rhonda Morales. “Or have a waiver."
Waivers that are accepted include medical, religious, or personal waivers. And waivers are all-the-more reason to make sure you are aware of your child's surroundings.
"Get your rest and minimize your contact,” Morales said. “Cover your cough and your sneeze. Have a great school year!"
Area school districts aim to keep their measles-free record by keeping students safe, and campuses clean. The two vaccinations for measles can be found at clinics, H-E-B, CVS or Walgreens.