Lubbock health officials defend the city from measles outbreak

KLBK News

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control, the number of measles cases in the U.S. is the highest number on record since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000. Cases have hit 22 states, including Texas. 

“It’s something that’s kind of like on everybody’s mind whenever they see a rash,” said Katherine Wells with the city’s health department. 

Wells said the last time Lubbock saw a case of the measles was more than 19 years ago and they want to keep it that way. 

The symptoms for measles are countless and they might not even be obvious for 10 days. 

“Cough, coryza, which a runny nose,” said Prakash Shrestha, an Infection Prevention Physician, Covenant Medical Group, “and other respiratory symptoms because it causes a lot of inflammation in the respiratory area.”

It’s an uncomfortable infection and it could kill you. 

“In developing countries, measles has a mortality rate of about 4 to 10 percent. So it has a pretty good number of mortality,” said Shrestha. 

The health department has some concerns for people leaving Lubbock.

 “Somebody that’s unvaccinated may be traveling through New York and Washington are kind of the bigger places we see the outbreaks,” said Wells, “Maybe being exposed and coming back to Lubbock and developing the measles.”

“There needs to be isolating if there is a degree of suspicion and again vacciantion is the key to prevent measles,” said Shrestha.

They said they will continue trying to keep the infection away from Lubbock.

“The vaccination itself is the best tool we have against measles. So if you or your children are not vaccinated, I really encourage you to reach out to your pediatrician or your doctor,” said Wells. 

The CDC said most of the cases nationwide are appearing in areas that have low vaccination rates. 
 

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