AUSTIN, Texas - Last month, Travis County reported its first case of measles in 20 years and since then, Austin Regional Clinic says it's had more requests for MMR vaccines.
ARC says measles, a highly contagious virus that spreads from coughing or sneezing, is the first vaccine-preventable illness that has come to the forefront and now questions are pouring in from adults about vaccines.
“Folks are trying to stay up to date on their measles mumps and rubella vaccine and we're having to develop a protocol to take care of these questions and patients to make sure they're up to date on these vaccines," ARC co-chief of pediatrics Dr. Mai Duong said.
Duong says symptoms usually begin with high fever, cough, runny nose and red watery eyes.
"It’s not a whole lot different than if you were to get the flu. It's not until the 4th day where you break out into the typical measles rash. The problem is you're already contagious four days before you develop the rash and four days after the rash," Duong said.
Because there's a long period of contagiousness, measles can be easily spread.
“I think one of my main concerns is this is a purely preventable disease and all of a sudden we're having concern and now with the rate of vaccinations the outbreaks are more likely to happen and spread to kids for medical reasons who can't get their vaccine," Duong said.
Since July 2015, ARC physicians stopped accepting new patients who didn't have their up-to-date measles vaccines because of the outbreak of the illness that year which started in California at Disneyland.
Duong says she's thankful and surprised an outbreak hasn't happened in the Austin area yet, especially since so many parents choose for their children to opt out of getting vaccines.