Editorials

Preventable disease strikes

Flu season is peaking, but it’s not the only disease with the potential to spread and endanger.

Public health officials this week confirmed a Tarrant County measles case.

As the Star-Telegram’s Bill Hanna reports, a resident who was recently abroad contracted the illness overseas. The Centers for Disease Control is trying to determine how many people were exposed on the international flight that carried the resident and arrived at DFW Airport in early January.

Like so many viruses that once devastated populations, measles is largely preventable. Most Americans receive the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine as children, a measure that has led to a 99 percent reduction in measles cases, according to the CDC.

But the recent anti-vaccination movement has meant that a significant number of parents are forgoing shots for their children, putting them at risk. About a third of people who get measles develop one or more complications. Young children are particularly vulnerable.

In California, dozens of Disneyland revelers — some too young to be vaccinated — were recently infected with measles.

Yet another reminder of the importance of getting vaccinated.

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