After one confirmed case of measles at a North Texas elementary school, doctors are advising parents to vaccinate their children. They say the highly contagious virus can kill.
New mom, Amanda West remembers getting vaccinated when she was a little girl.
“I know some people can't have them, but I think that for the majority of the people who can have them, there's really not any reason to not get them,” she said.
She believes it's the best way she can protect her 15-month-old girl, Cora.
“If my kid goes somewhere and if she were not able to be vaccinated, she'd be way more likely to get sick,” West said.
Plano ISD confirmed one case at Schell Elementary in Richardson this month. They believe the child may have contracted the virus while out of the country. The child was not immunized.
“What's happening in the 2000's is that we're seeing more and more cases every year. The vast majority of those cases happen in people who are incompletely vaccinated or unvaccinated,” Dr. Samistha Hauger, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, said.
Measles can start out with symptoms like fever, eye redness, and a runny nose, but it can progress to a rash covering the body.
“You can walk through an airport or walk through a doctor's office, if there's somebody there incubating measles you have a greater than 90 percent chance of catching it,” Hauger said.
Doctors say fears of autism have caused parents to rethink vaccines. Doctor Hauger says there's no evidence that proves immunizations are linked to autism.
“I just became a grandma and my granddaughter is eight weeks old and my daughter in law asked me about immunizations. You shouldn't be afraid,” she said.
Hauger backs up vaccines so much, she wouldn't mind if some were mandatory.
“I don't think people should have an option for a waiver for certain types of vaccines that keep our population safe,” she said.
“Science backs vaccinating her,” West said about her daughter.
That child at Schell Elementary recovered and is back in school. Plano ISD officials sent a letter home to the student's classmates. It takes seven to 21 days for symptoms of measles to begin to appear.