Doctors Encourage Vaccine After Measles Outbreak

- Following an outbreak of measles in North Central Texas, this un-common virus has made a comeback in the Lone Star State.

"It's a fever, an illness that causes fever, they'll have a little bit of cough,  and a rash, and that rash, that's what usually alerts physicians that it is measles," Casie Stoughton, Assistant Director of Public Health in Amarillo said. 

Measles most commonly affects young children. There have been no cases reported in the Panhandle, and an easy two dose vaccine can protect against this infection.

"After the first dose of the MMR vaccine, children are about nintey five percent protected. After the second dose, it jumped to about 98 percent," Stoughton said. 

According to Dr. Todd Bell, with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, a decrease in people getting vaccinated could be to blame.

"Measles is not a common type of infection that we see now. And because we don't see those diseases on a daily basis, a lot of people stop, I guess, having the motivation to get their children vaccintaed," Bell said of the outbreak. 

This recent outbreak may be motivation enough. Both Dr. Bell and the Public Health Department recommend getting the vaccine.

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