Metro Health urges vaccination after first measles case confirmed in SA

MH: 'You're not just protecting yourself, you're protecting those around you'

SAN ANTONIO – The latest measles case was discovered in San Antonio, a first for this year.

Officials said someone was treated in an outpatient setting within the University Health System.

RELATED: First measles case confirmed in San Antonio

"It was an adult patient that presented in one of our outpatient settings, and the test was ordered," said Dr. Jason Bowling, a University Health System epidemiologist. "They were stable to be discharged home. The test takes a couple of days to return. It returned positive when the person was no longer in our care, but we've been communicating with public health."

State health officials said the patient is a traveler from the Philippines, where there is an ongoing measles outbreak, who was staying in Guadalupe County. 

While there is no outbreak in San Antonio, health officials are urging people to get vaccinated.

"When you’re vaccinated, you're not just protecting yourself, you are protecting those individuals around you and individuals around you who cannot get vaccinated," said Rita Espinoza, chief of epidemiology for San Antonio Metro Health. "There are some that can’t get vaccinated due to medical conditions."

Espinoza said although no vaccine is 100% effective, the measles vaccine is 97% effective, which is pretty good considering how highly contagious it is.

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"With measles, one of the things about how come it's highly contagious and such a concern is that when an individual is in a room, an individual that’s infected with the measles, once they leave that room, that virus will stay in the air for up to two hours," said Espinoza.

Espinoza said it is so contagious that health officials are asking people who believe they have the measles to call clinics and hospitals in advance so staff members can take appropriate measures.

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About the Author:

Stephanie Serna is a weekday anchor on Good Morning San Antonio and GMSA at 9 a.m. She joined the KSAT 12 News team in November 2009 as a general assignments reporter.