A case of measles has been reported in Collin County.
On Thursday, Aug. 23, Collin County Health Care Services (CCHCS) identified a case in Plano. The individual had not received a measles vaccine, and went to Plano West Senior High during their infectious period between Aug. 14 and Aug. 16. The individual also visited the Preston Park Colonnade location of Whole Foods while contagious.
According to CCHCS, no secondary cases have been reported.
Symptoms of measles are a rash, cough, runny nose, eye redness and fever of 101 degrees or higher. The disease is highly contagious and spread through the air or by contact with respiratory droplets. Infected droplets can even stay in the air for up to two hours.
People who contact measles are contagious from four days before the rash appears until four days after it appears.
According to CCHCS, the most effective way to prevent measles is by getting vaccinated.
“The MMR vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective against measles,” the organization stated. “With the recommended two doses, the effectiveness of preventing measles is 97 percent. The first dose of the vaccine is recommended for all children 12-15 months with the second dose following between 4-6 years of age.”
CCHCS recommends that those who develop symptoms of the illness immediately contact their doctors. Calling in advance will give healthcare providers time to prepare their facilities in a way that keeps the disease from spreading.
Physicians who suspect they have an infected patient should call CCHCS’s main line at 972-548-4707 to help them monitor the spread of the disease. Measles cases should be put in rooms that appropriately insulate airborne diseases, and should not go back to work or school until cleared by CCHCS.
Even if a person has been vaccinated, healthcare providers are urged to consider measles as a diagnosis when symptoms are present, especially if the patient has recently travelled abroad or had contact with someone who has the disease.
“We encourage parents to reach out to the school nurse or the Health Department for assistance in getting the vaccine,” said Renee Kotsopoulos, Garland ISD Director of Health Services. “Parents should also teach children the importance of good hand washing and covering coughs or sneezes.”
More details and tips on treating measles can be found at cdc.gov/measles.
From Staff Reports • [email protected]