Flu Season 2018-2019

Measles

  • As of February 2019, there have been no reported cases of Measles in Hays or Travis County. Measles outbreaks have been reported in several states and most recently in Bell, Harris, Galveston, and Montgomery counties.  Below is information on transmission, symptoms, and complications. Note the policy regarding measles in Texas schools:  Children with suspected or confirmed measles should be kept out of school or childcare until 4 days after the onset of rash. Rules for exclusion of sick children from school and childcare are outlined in the Texas Administrative Code, specifically Rule 97.7 for schools: 

    (14) measles (rubeola)--exclude until four days after rash onset or in the case of an outbreak, exclude unimmunized child for at least 21 days after the last date the unimmunized child was exposed;

    Measles is one of the most highly communicable of all infectious diseases; 90% of those exposed to the virus who are not immunized will contract the disease.  Patients with the measles are contagious from 4 days before the rash through the 4th day after the rash appeared.  The time between exposure to the virus and the beginning of symptoms is about 8 to 12 days.

    Symptoms of Measles imeasles nclude a high fever, a cough, a runny nose, and red, watery eyes, often light sensitivity.  A rash which looks like red bumps on a flat, red patch of skin appears, spreading from top to bottom and from the abdomen to the arms and legs.  Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth.

    No specific antiviral therapy is available.

    Complications of measles include otitis media, pneumonia, croup, and diarrhea. Acute encephalitis, which often results in permanent brain damage, occurs in approximately 1 of every 1000 cases. Severe complications can also lead to death.

    If you have questions or concerns, please contact your primary care provider or pediatrician.

Zika

  • Mosquito season generally begins when temperatures are above 50 degrees F and end when temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Mosquito activity increases with warmer weather, and so does the threat of these illnesses. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of Zika; the virus can cause birth defects in unborn infants. The Zika virus spreads through the bite of certain types of mosquitoes. While it can cause fever, rash, joint pain, and red or pink eyes, about 80 percent of people with Zika do not become ill or have symptoms. Zika can also spread through blood transfusions and sexual contact.
    Zika
    Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus. Your best protection is to avoid infection. Prevent mosquito breeding and protect yourself from mosquito bites. You can learn more about Zika here

    Prevent mosquito-borne illnesses:

    • Apply EPA-approved insect repellent.
    • Remove standing water in cans, bottles, buckets, tires, wheel barrows or any container that can hold water.
    • Wear clothing that covers hands, arms, legs, and exposed skin. This can include hats with mosquito netting and socks to cover your ankles.
    • Cover trash cans or containers where water can collect.