First measles case reported in Austin, Texas, in decades

First measles case reported in Austin, Texas, in decades
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Health officials in Austin, Texas, are warning residents they may have been exposed to measles after the first diagnosed case was reported in the city in more than 20 years. 

Officials believe the person contracted measles while traveling in Europe in late November to early December, Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority and medical director for Austin Public Health, announced Monday

Officials told residents they are protected if they have received two measles vaccinations, otherwise they are at an increased risk of infection. 

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“Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease. A small number of cases are capable of quickly producing epidemics," Escott said. "The best way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases is by immunization."

In addition to visiting several Austin-area restaurants and a Target between Dec. 14 and Dec. 17, the diagnosed person visited the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Dec. 17 between noon and 4 p.m. 

Any unvaccinated person who has been to the locations and develops a fever before Jan. 1 should call a doctor immediately, health officials said.

There was a measles outbreak in the U.S. earlier this year, with 1,241 cases confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between Jan. 1 and Sept. 12. It was the highest number of cases since 1992. 

The outbreak had been mainly concentrated in areas of New York, according to the CDC.