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For The First Time Since 1999, Someone In Travis County Has The Measles.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Austin Public Health says a person in Travis County has been diagnosed with measles for the first time since 1999.

The infected person visited a handful of locations in North and Central Austin (listed below), including Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Officials ask that people who may have been in that area call their doctors if they develop symptoms including a fever, rash, sore eyes and a cough before Jan. 1.

Credit Austin Public Health

People who have not received the mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccination are at an increased risk of infection, Austin Public Health said in an announcement.

“Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease. A small number of cases are capable of quickly producing epidemics," said Dr. Mark Escott of Austin Public Health. "The best way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases is by immunization."

The health authority said the list of possible exposure sites might change as it investigates the case further. You can find more information at the city's measles website.

Texas law currently allows parents to not vaccinate their children for reasons of conscience, which could include religious reasons. A study earlier this year found the number of parents claiming these exemptions has skyrocketed in Texas – from 2,300 in 2003 to 64,000 in 2016. Another study from The Lancet listed Travis County as one of 25 counties most at-risk of a measles outbreak because of its high nonmedical childhood vaccination exemptions and its high volume of international travel.

The MMR vaccine is typically given to children within 12 to 15 months of age and a booster shot of the vaccine is given between 4 and 6 years of age.

In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says at least 31 states have seen a total of 1,276 cases of the measles – the largest number of cases since 1992. The majority of those patients were not vaccinated.

Dec. 14 (evening):

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill, 6301 W Parmer Lane

Dec. 14 - 16:

  • HEB, 6001 W Parmer Lane

Dec. 15:

  • Saam Thai, 6301 W Parmer Lane

Dec. 15 - 16

  • Mandola’s Italian, 4700 W Guadalupe Street

Dec. 16 (2pm – 4pm):

  • Target, 10107 Research Boulevard
  • Marco’s Pizza, 11011 Research Boulevard

Dec. 17 (Noon – 4pm):

  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, 3600 Presidential Boulevard United Airlines, Gate 29 area

Got a tip? Email Andrew at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.

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Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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