(KYTX) - The measles outbreak in Texas and across the country has the Centers for Disease Control concerned.
It's the most cases we've seen since 1996. right now, the CDC is reporting a total of 159 cases this year in the U.S. Last year there were only 55. Texas is dealing with its fair share of the problem
Measles was declared eliminated in the United States more than 10 years ago, but the infectious disease is back, and spreading quickly.
"You're contagious 4 days before you get the rash and 4 days after you get the rash. So it's highly contagious," says Sylvia Warren the immunization Director, NET Health.
It's a viral disease resulting in a fever and rash that spreads through sneezing, coughing and human contact.
It spreads quickly in communities with low vaccination rates like in Newark, Texas about a hour and a half Northwest of Dallas.
An outbreak at the town's Eagle Mountain international mega church has infected at least 21 members.
"That's actually kind of scary," says Julianne Thrasher.
Julianne Thrasher's son is almost 7 months old. That's usually too young for the measles mumps and rubella vaccine. But when there's an outbreak, babies as young as 6 months qualify.
"I support vaccines because I'm scared for anything to happen to him," says Thrasher.
But some parents are nervous because of a discredited report saying vaccines may cause autism.
People still believe it, but it's been proven that the measles vaccine, any vaccine, does not cause autism
North East Texas public health district immunization director Sylvia Warren says no cases have been reported in East Texas.
But both children and adults should be vaccinated in case the North Texas outbreak moves East. The CDC wants Americans to take this seriously
"They're having us be on alert as far as the schools, making sure they check their immunization records, making sure all those kids have their measles vaccines like they're supposed to."
It's something Takesha Carpenter is now moving to the top of her to do list:
"I just didn't think about it. I didn't know that it was as bad as it is now. I had no idea."
Both she and Thrasher ready to do whatever it takes to keep their families healthy.
The largest outbreak this year has been in Brooklyn, New York. Fifty- eight cases have been reported.
None of those patients were vaccinated, that's because of religious and philosophical beliefs or because some were too young to get the shots.
If you're an adult who needs a measles vaccine contact net health to see whether you're eligible to get one. You should not get the vaccine if you're pregnant or on certain medications.