Your questions answered: Local doctor answers questions on measles

Bexar County had its first case of measles confirmed Wednesday

By Ben Spicer - Digital Journalist, Mary Claire Patton - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - Dr. Jason Bowling, a University Health System epidemiologist, sat down with KSAT on Thursday to address viewers' questions regarding the measles.

Below are some highlights from the discussion:
***All statements and information are directly from Bowling

  • The first symptom of measles is a fever, followed by a cough. Afterward, a rash will develop. It typically starts near the hairline and goes down — think top to bottom.
  • It’s important to keep infants away from people with the illness. The best way to protect an infant is to make sure everyone around the baby is vaccinated.
  • There’s been a trend of children not getting vaccinated and outbreaks have been correlated to areas with high numbers of nonvaccinated people.
  • Even just one dose of the MMR vaccine is effective up to 95 percent.
  • Booster shots are not recommended for adults because the vaccine is long lasting and very effective.
  • There are rare cases where people can get the measles from the vaccine. It’s very rare but is a possibility.
  • Most people born before 1957 may have had measles as a child. You don’t need to get the vaccine if you have had the measles but you could still get the MMR vaccine to protect from yourself from mumps and rubella, also known as the German measles or three-day measles.
  • It takes a bit of time for your immune system to respond to vaccines. You should be protected after a few weeks.
  • Currently there is only an MMR vaccine -- there is no longer a measles only vaccine.
  • Measles virus is very contagious. An estimated 9 of 10 people will develop the measles if they’re exposed to the disease and are unvaccinated.
  • In Texas there have been more cases of measles in March alone, than in all of 2018.
  • Bexar County has a higher vaccine rate than other Texas counties (23)
  • If you’ve had the full MMR vaccine you’re 99 percent protected.
  • MMR vaccine includes protection for the measles, mumps and rubella. 
  • Most people will recover from the measles after a rash and fever but some people develop more severe symptoms and it could be deadly.
  • See your doctor if you think you have the measles. 
  • There's no time period you need to take off from school or work after getting vaccinated.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is a good website to visit to get more information about vaccines.
  • Usually side effects from vaccines are mild and include soreness at the injection site and the chills.

You can watch Dr. Bowling's full interview below:
Click here to watch if you can't see the embed.

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Original Story:

KSAT 12 and University Health System are holding a live chat with a local doctor to answer your questions regarding the measles.

Bexar County had its first case of the measles confirmed Wednesday.

Measles is an airborne virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person and can be spread through coughing and sneezing.

Dr. Jason Bowling, a University Health System epidemiologist, will be live on KSAT.com and intermittently during the News at Noon on KSAT-TV to answer questions live from viewers.

We want to hear from you!

Do you have questions about the measles? KSAT will ask a local doctor and try to find the answer!

If you're an app user and have questions about the measles, click HERE to ask!

Some of the questions we've already received and plan to answer include: 

  • My husband's immune system has been lowered by medication due to a kidney transplant. I'm considering the MMR vaccine. Can I be near my husband after receiving the vaccine?
  • If I got the vaccine when I was a child I should still be covered, right?
  • What are the symptoms of the measles?
  • I'm a senior. I don't know if I had measles as a child and no way to find out. Do I need to get vaccinated?
  • I don’t understand why someone who was suspected to have the measles was allowed back into the public. Why not remain quarantined until the results are back?
  • Will a 71+ years old get measles with a immune system weakened?
  • How contagious are you before symptoms appear?
  • Can you get the measles vaccine if you have type 2 diabetes?
  • Do adults need to be revaccinated? My first shot was in 1975 and my second was 1980.

RELATED: San Antonio suspected measles case may be 10th in Texas this year

While there is not an outbreak in San Antonio, health officials are urging people to get vaccinated.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is reporting the recent case in San Antonio as the 10th case of measles in the state this year.

Measles is highly contagious, and if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around that person will also become infected if they have not yet been vaccinated, officials said. About one out of four people who get measles will be hospitalized.

Symptoms of the measles include:

  • High fever
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Sore throat followed by a rash breakout three to five days after symptoms begin

Measles is prevented through the combination measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get two doses in order to be fully protected.

The first dose is administered at between 12 through 15 months of age and the second dose at between 4 and 6 years of age.

Click here to read more about the viral infection.

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