Measles case confirmed in Galveston County
The Galveston County Health District confirms one case of measles in Galveston County. The patient, whose identity will remain confidential, is a Galveston County boy, ranging in age from 12-24 months. He was tested on Jan. 28. This case is part of a cluster in the region.
“We have one positive case in Galveston County, and we are aware of a small cluster of cases in the region. Residents should be aware and know what symptoms to look for,” said Dr. Philip Keiser, Galveston County local health authority.
Symptoms generally appear about seven-14 days after a person is infected and include fever (as high as 104°F), cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth two-three days after symptoms begin.
A rash will break out three-five days after symptoms begin and usually first appears as flat red spots on the face at the hairline, spreading downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs and feet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. A person’s fever may spike to more than 104°F when the rash appears. The rash will fade and fever go down after a few days.
In Texas, suspicion of measles is required to be reported immediately to the local health department, which is GCHD in Galveston County. Measles can be serious and is highly contagious. It is spread by an infected person’s coughs or sneezes.
“Immediately contact your doctor if you have been exposed to someone who has measles or if you think you may have measles,” Keiser said. “Let them know your symptoms and they can decide the best course of action. Your best protection is the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. It provides long-lasting protection. Children need two doses for the best protection.”
The first dose can be given at 12-15 months of age and the second at 4-6 years. The measles vaccine is highly effective. One dose of the measles vaccine is about 93 percent effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus while two doses are 97 percent effective. For more information on measles, please visit www.cdc.gov/measles.