A toddler has tested positive for measles after traveling overseas

Here in Houston, a little boy between 1-3 years of age has contracted the measles virus after having traveled abroad. This is the first known case of measles in Houston since 2013. Information about the young boy came to light when a nurse at the hospital released private information about him on an anti-vaccine facebook page she was a part of. Measles is preventable with a vaccine, but it is currently unknown if the young child was vaccinated. The child is currently being treated at the Texas Children’s Hospital.

“A patient treated at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus tested positive for measles. This is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable infection,” Jenn Blackmer Jacome, assistant director of public relations at Texas Children’s Hospital, said.

Despite the difficulty a measles patient presents, the hospital is now working to treat the boy and to contact any families with children who may have come into contact with the young boy. Measles is a dangerous disease that is spread through actions such as coughing, sneezing. The symptoms typically take 10-14 days to start showing, these symptoms include a rash, fever, sore throat, and a cough. If left untreated measles has the potential to leave a person with permanent brain injury, or even cause their death.

“We know vaccination is the best protection against measles,” the Texas Children’s Hospital said.

However, a nurse working at the hospital seems to disagree with that statement. The aforementioned nurse working at the hospital has been fired after she released confidential patient information about the young boy. This information was released on an anti-vaccine facebook page the nurse was a part of called Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children. Here she spoke of treating the young boy, and how it had not changed her stance on vaccination.

“We were made aware that one of our nurses posted protected health information regarding a patient on social media. We take these matters very seriously as the privacy and well-being of our patients is always a top priority. After an internal investigation, this individual is no longer with the organization,” the Hospital said.

With measles and vaccinations at the front of everyone’s minds, many doctors are reminding parents to make sure that their children are vaccinated. The CDC warns that people who refuse to vaccinate risk spreading the disease to those who are unvaccinated due to health reasons, or who are simply too young.