Austin Warns Public About Measles Case

Person diagnosed with highly contagious disease visited restaurants, airport
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2019 12:33 PM CST
Austin Warns Public About Measles Case
A measles vaccination is administered during a free measles vaccination clinic by the Allegheny County Health Department in Pittsburgh in this file photo.   (Steph Chambers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

(Newser) – Austin, Texas, has registered an unwanted milestone: its first measles case since 1999, reports KXAN. An unidentified person has been diagnosed with the highly contagious disease, and city officials have issued a public warning about the person's travels. The patient went to various restaurants and stores (including Chipotle and Target) as well as to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport from December 14 to 17, according to a city news release, which has the specific times. The measles virus can be spread through the air, and anyone unvaccinated who encountered the person is at risk.

"Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease," says Dr. Mark Escott of Austin Public Health, per CNN. "A small number of cases are capable of quickly producing epidemics. The best way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases is by immunization." In this case, someone who was infected would start showing symptoms, including a fever, before Jan. 1. (Measles cases are on the rise this year across the country, thanks to a decline in vaccinations.)

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