The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed a fifth case of measles in a woman in her early 30’s.
The patient did not report any visits to public places where possible exposure to others may have occurred, so at this time there is no list of dates, times or locations of which we can provide.
The news comes as the Department continues its efforts to vaccinate as many children as possible before the start of the new school year.
“These recent cases of the measles make it all the more important for children to be vaccinated before they return to class,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “We have been lucky in that this situation began before school started, but what we don’t want is for parents to find out at registration that their child won’t be able to start classes with the rest of their peers because they are missing vaccines.”
In fact, the DPH is advising local superintendents to be especially vigilant about reviewing vaccine records for students across the area. The state of Texas allows schools to “provisionally” enroll students who have received at least one dose of the measles vaccine.
For the remainder of 2019, public health officials are recommending that provisional enrollment for partially vaccinated students be suspended and that the schools require all students to have completed the two dose series for measles upon school entry.
In order to make vaccinations more convenient, all three Department of Public Health Immunization Clinics will begin operating Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and will remain open during the lunch hour.
Clinic locations are: Central El Paso (5115 El Paso Drive), Henderson (721 South Mesa Street), Ysleta (110 Candelaria Road). Appointments can be made by calling 915-212-6555 or online at www.EPHealth.com.
Parents and legal guardians are required to bring a photo ID and the child’s immunization record. The administration fee for vaccines is $10.00 per child for one vaccine and $15.00 per child for two or more vaccines.
The Immunization Program accepts all Medicaid plans, CHIP (El Paso First only), credit and debit cards (Visa and MasterCard).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 90 percent of people who are not vaccinated, who are exposed to the virus will become infected.
Measles is spread through coughing and sneezing and the disease usually begins with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. These symptoms are followed by a rash that spreads from the head down to the hands and feet. Measles can live in an airspace where an infected person was, for up to two hours.
Those who are concerned that they are showing signs and symptoms of a measles infection should visit their medical care provider, or those who would like more information may call 2-1-1 to receive further instructions.