6 cases of measles confirmed in Texas, latest in Bell County


HOUSTON (AP) — Health officials say six cases of measles have been confirmed in southern Texas, including four children under the age of 2.

The cases, which were announced Monday, include three in the Houston area, one in Galveston County and one in Montgomery County. A sixth case was confirmed Tuesday in Bell County. Test results on two other cases are pending, according to KXAN’s sister station in Waco.

The announcements come as a measles outbreak hits the Pacific Northwest, where more than 50 cases have been confirmed.

Officials urge vaccinations for the contagious virus, which was eradicated in the U.S. in 2000 as a result of immunization but arrives periodically with overseas travelers. The Houston Chronicle reports health officials were told the four children who fell ill had received their first of two measles vaccines. The second is given between the ages of 4 and 6.

The Centers for Disease Control says the two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine are 97 percent effective against measles, while one dose is 93 percent effective.

The Texas Vaccines for Children program provides low-cost vaccinations to children who are eligible for participation in the Medicaid program, enrolled in the Childen’s Health Insurance Program, are American Indian or Alaska Native, are uninsured or are under-insured.

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