The medical community has been warning the public for years that as more people refuse vaccinations outbreaks are inevitable.
Three measles cases have been confirmed in northwest Harris County, along with one in Montgomery County and one in Galveston County.
Four of the patients are children under the age of 2. The other is a Harris County woman who is approximately 30 years old.
Health officials say the two children in Harris County had both had their first round of vaccinations.
But still, hundreds of people in Texas have chosen not to vaccinate their children for non-medical reasons. The reasons they do this run the gamut. Dr. Melanie Mouzoon, a pediatrician and managing physician for immunization practices at Kelsey Seybold, is responding to some of the anti-vaccine theories.
“If parents are afraid of this vaccine they are really afraid of the wrong thing,” said Mouzoon.
Mouzoon says measles is one most contagious illness that exists. It can infect 90% of a susceptible population, mainly those who aren’t vaccinated.
One person posted on KHOU’s Facebook page that “measles is quite benign.”
“No measles is not quite benign,” said Mouzoon. “It does kill children. It does put about one in 100 into the hospital and in about one in 1000 it’s fatal.”
Another comment to KHOU’s page is that the most recent cases “likely came from the vaccine.”
“No, these cases don’t come from the vaccine. This vaccine virus does not mutate back. It doesn’t cause measles it doesn’t spread from the vaccine.”
A third person commented that “Vitamin A treats measles. It’s not that big of a deal.”
“Vitamin A deficiency makes measles very much worse. [Vitamin A] does not treat measles. It’s only that if you have that deficiency when you have measles you’re going to get a lot sicker.”
And finally, one of the most common claims is that vaccines can cause autism.
“Autism has been very well studied and it is not caused by vaccines. It doesn’t start later in life when you get vaccines. It’s a condition where your brain development is not following a normal trajectory and that starts in the womb”
“The truth is that the vaccines are safe and effective and the best thing you can do for your child is to get them vaccinated because we are all at risk that there will be more outbreaks in Houston and around the country as more and more people have refused vaccines.”
In Texas a person does not have to be vaccinated. By law people can opt out of them for non-medical reasons.
Dr. Mouzoon recommends that parents ask the school or daycare what the rate of immunization is and warns that anywhere that has less than 90%, is a problem.