Customers who visited Chuy’s in College Station on March 29 are advised to continue checking for measles symptoms until Sunday, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
On March 29, a person from Indiana who had the disease went to the restaurant on Harvey Road, potentially infecting others.
As of April 5, there have been 15 confirmed cases of measles in Texas. Also known as rubeola, the measles is described by the Texas Department of State Health Services as “a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing.” By increasing MMR vaccinations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were able to eliminate measles in 2000, meaning there was more than a year without continuous disease transmission.
However, Arizona, California, Kentucky, New York, Oregon and Washington are just some of the states that have reported cases this year.
Alistair McGregor, associate professor of microbial pathogenesis and immunology, said there has been a notable increase in reported cases of measles in the country.
“Nationally, in the U.S, the trend is obviously upwards,” McGregor said. “And it’s more than likely due to an influx of people coming into the country, or visiting, who actually are carrying the virus. And then we have a situation now with a growing number of people who haven’t been vaccinated against measles, so there is this potential for a highly contagious virus spreading. Measles virus is one of the most effective viruses around.”
Mary Parrish, a health educator at the Brazos County Health District, said cases in Houston, central and north Texas could be a concern for the Brazos County community.
“We are seeing trends that show that where people are not vaccinating, that’s where the majority of measles cases are,” Parrish said. “There definitely is a threat, but if people vaccinate, there is nothing to worry about. The main concern is for children who are not vaccinated and also for young adults who work with small children who have lost their immunity from the MMR vaccine.”
Kathryn Bannon, patient services manager at Student Health Services, said students can receive the MMR vaccine on campus for $96, and anyone who is concerned about whether their vaccine is active can be offered the MMR titer test to check immunity.