Lack of vaccinations can contribute to public health hazard

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Parents are being cautioned to vaccinated their children, and avoid certain areas (KTRK)

The anti-vaccination movement goes back to a study by a now-discredited doctor who linked vaccinations to autism. That study has since been retracted and that doctor has since lost his medical license, yet the movement still endures, as shown by the rise of diseases once thought defunct.

The whooping cough, mumps, measles -- these are diseases that should have been wiped out, but are now making a comeback, mostly because of parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids.

Kathy Barton with the Houston Department of Health and Human Services said, "There is no correlation between vaccines and autism.

Now measles is the latest disease to make an appearance.

"Measles is a highly infectious viral disease and for people who are unimmune they are very likely to get it," Barton said.

Health officials are telling people who aren't vaccinated to avoid California Disney theme parks, where the outbreak has hit at least 70 people across six states. Here in Texas, one case near Dallas has been reported, but officials said that patient didn't get it from Disneyland and likely got measles overseas.

Officials say it all comes back to vaccination, which only works if a majority of people get it.

Barton said, "Within our community, we need to have 95 percent of the people to have that immunity in order to protect the handful of people who can't be immunized, because there are some people who can't be. Infants under the age of 12 months cannot be immunized."

Texas requires public school students to get immunized, but exemptions are allowed if a physician declares the vaccine is harmful to a child's health or if it's against religious belief. According to HISD numbers, about 600 out of more than 200,000 students are not fully vaccinated.

Measles symptoms include fever, cough, and sore throat with tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. You can also develop a rash. Symptoms show up 10 to 14 days after exposure and a person is contagious while the disease is incubating.

Officials say not vaccinating is a personal choice that can become a public hazard.
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healthmeasleschildren's healthvaccinesHouston
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