Austin Public Health monitoring rising measles cases in Texas

Health officials in Travis County are monitoring the rising cases of measles in Texas.

One case has been confirmed in Bell County, only 70 miles from Austin.

The resipatory illness is highly contagious, can be spread by sneezing or coughing and is especially dangerous for children.

Dr. Mary Ann Rodriguez, interim health authority and medical director at Austin Public Health, said the department is monitoring hospital reports and vaccination stock.

"So far our immunization department has been noting more requests for vaccinations for measles," said Rodriguez.

According to the CDC, measles left untreated can cause pneumonia, swelling of the brain and even death.

"My main message is that vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from measles," Rodriguez said. "If a person with measles was in a room and there were ten people in that room, nine out of ten people in that room will end up with measles."

Rodriguez referred to an epidemic simulator map, created by Pittsburg University. It showed what a measles outbreak would look like in Austin. The red dots show how rapidly the disease spreads in schools with high rates of children who's parents chose not to vaccinate.

Austin has been named an anti-vaccine hot spot by medicine publisher and advocacy organization, the Public Library of Science.

If you believe you might have the measles you are asked to contact a doctor immediately.



Drug-resistant superbug is spreading in Austin

Discussing importance of vaccines after measles outbreak in two states

Measles outbreak grows in northwest U.S., 30 cases reported

Anti-vaxxers among top 'threats to global health,' WHO says

Study finds solution to gaps in US flu vaccine supply chain