According to recent news reports, passengers on four Southwest Airlines flights in Texas may have been exposed to measles. One female passenger from one of the flights told TV station NBCDFW rashes appeared on her legs. The health department advised her to seek medical attention.
As children head back to school, cases of measles highlight the serious risks of unvaccinated kids in the classroom.
In late August, there was a confirmed case of measles at Plano West Senior High School, and a young child was hospitalized in Houston after testing positive for the measles virus. This sad news come despite the fact that measles, which is highly contagious and can be fatal, is a very preventable disease.
In January, six unvaccinated people were infected with measles in Ellis County.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four people who get measles in the U.S. will be hospitalized with health issues that can lead to brain damage and even death. The World Health Organization reports nearly 90,000 people died from measles in 2016, most of them children younger than 5.
Doctors and health officials believe their could be a measles outbreak in Texas, due to the rising number of unvaccinated children. As Dr. Jason Terk, a Cook Children’s Medical Center pediatrician told the Dallas Morning News, “It is really not question of whether these outbreaks will occur but when.”
Cases of mumps have also popped up around the state. In November, visits were shut down at two Texas prisons due to mumps outbreak. At Texas State University, four students tested positive for mumps this spring. Mumps cases were also recently reported at Texas Christian University.
There is no medical evidence to support claims of vaccine-related health risks. The Wakefield study claiming vaccines cause autism have been widely discredited. The medical journal that published the study retracted it, stating it was “incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation.”