6th Measles Case Confirmed in El Paso, Texas
The City of El Paso, Texas Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed a 6th measles case during July 2019.
The El Paso DPH said in a press release on July 24, 2019, that anyone who visited the following places on the dates and times noted below should review their measles immunization status to confirm that they are properly immunized against this virus.
And, if you develop a fever and rash, please call a healthcare provider immediately.
- Sunday, 7/21/19 Walmart at Cielo Vista (7101 Gateway Blvd W) 11:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.
- Tuesday, 7/23/19 Veteran Affairs Main Clinic (5001 N. Piedras) 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, 7/23/19 Walmart at Cielo Vista (7101 Gateway Blvd W) 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
"We can't stress enough the importance of being vaccinated against measles. It is our best defense and very well proven for over 50 years now all across the world,” says DPH Director, Robert Resendes.
“While immunization against measles will give the person receiving the vaccine protection, it can also help prevent the spread of measles thus protecting people who cannot receive the measles vaccination such as children under the age of one, pregnant women, and patients with a weakened immune system,” shared Maegan Whisenhunt, Pharm D candidate, intern for Brookshires Grocery Company.
“People that cannot receive this vaccine are less likely to come in contact with the measles virus if the rest of the population has been vaccinated against measles.”
Previously, on July 23, 2019, El Paso DPH advised local school superintendents to be especially ‘vigilant about reviewing vaccine records for students entering school in August across the Borderland,’ reported KVIA.
Traditionally, the state of Texas allows schools to "provisionally" enroll students who have received just 1 dose of the measles vaccine.
However, local DPH officials are recommending that provisional enrollment for partially vaccinated students be suspended, schools should require all students to have completed the 2-dose measles vaccination series upon school entry.
To reduce this expanding measles outbreak, all El Paso DPH Immunization Clinics are operating Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. These clinic locations are Central El Paso (5115 El Paso Drive), Henderson (721 South Mesa Street), and Ysleta (110 Candelaria Road).
The DPH immunization clinics accept all Medicaid plans, CHIP (El Paso First only), credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard). Appointments can be made by calling 915-212-6555 or for additional information, visit EPHealth.
To receive the measles vaccination, parents and legal guardians are required to bring a photo ID and each child’s immunization record. The administration fee for vaccines is $10.00 per child for one vaccine and $15.00 per child for those eligible for the Texas Vaccines for Children Program (TVFC) or Adult Safety Net.
Additional financial support programs can be found at Vaccine Discounts.
Previously, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced that ‘Operation Lone Star’ would be offering various services to Texas Borderland counties between July 22-26, 2019.
Operation Lone Star offers free health services including child immunizations, hearing and vision screenings, diabetes, and blood pressure screenings, and sports physicals.
In addition, the Rio Grande City site will provide preventive dental services for school-age children, and dental services and vision exams for prescription glasses for adults and children will be available at the Mission and San Juan, Texas locations.
Public health officials say the measles virus is very contagious. In fact, the measles virus can live in an airspace where an infected person was, for up to 2 hours.
The hallmark symptom of measles is a rash that begins as flat, red spots on the face and spreads down the neck and trunk to the rest of the body. Other symptoms include a high fever over 101 degrees, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.
The measles disease can be severe and lead to serious complications such as pneumonia, ear infection, brain inflammation, known as encephalitis.
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Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 1,148 individual cases of measles in 30 states on July 22, 2019. The vast majority of these measles cases have been reported in the State of New York.
On July 24, 2019, the Texas DSHS confirmed 20 measles cases during 2019. Texas only reported 9 cases in 2018 and just 1 in 2017.
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the measles virus is by getting vaccinated, says the CDC. Measles can be prevented with MMR-II vaccine, which protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.
Children may also get the Proquad vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox). This vaccine is only licensed for use in children who are 12 months through 12 years of age.
For those who are concerned that they may have been exposed to the measles virus or who would like more information, please call 2-1-1.
Most pharmacies in Texas offer measles vaccination services.