Fort Bliss Measles Information

As of 25 July 2019, 1164 cases of measles have been reported in the United States. This is the greatest number of cases seen since 1992. The CDC reports the majority of people who have contracted the measles have been unvaccinated. To protect against measles, the CDC recommends the safe and effective MMR vaccination.

Fort Bliss senior and healthcare leadership want to express that the health and welfare of our Soldiers, families, and patrons on the installation is of the utmost importance.

What is Measles?

Measles is one of the most easily transmitted viruses known to man. It spreads via the respiratory system – much like influenza and TB. An infected person coughs the virus and others inhale it. The measles virus remains infectious in the air up to two hours after the infectious individual has left the area.

Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children. While death rates have been falling worldwide as more children receive the measles vaccine, the disease still kills more than 100,000 people a year, most under the age of five.

It takes an average of 10–12 days from exposure to the onset of the first symptom, which is usually fever. The measles rash doesn’t usually appear until approximately 14 days after exposure, 2–3 days after the fever begins. Unfortunately, patients are infectious for four days BEFORE rash symptoms appear to four days after they appear. As such, seemingly healthy individuals going about their business in the community can be unknowingly infecting others.

Vaccination remains the best form of defense against measles.

Isolation of infectious individuals also helps in diminishing the subsequent infection of others.

The CDC defines a measles outbreak as three or more cases within a community. El Paso and Fort Bliss now meet that definition. Those who are concerned that they are showing signs and symptoms of a measles infection should visit their medical care provider, or those who would like more information may call 2-1-1 to receive further instructions.

Beneficiary Options

If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes folowed by a rash, please do the following.

Call the Nurse Advice Line 1-800-874-2273

Call the appointment line 915-742-2273

Immunization Information

Beneficiaries seeking immunizations can go to their assigned clinic during walk-in hours or a scheduled appointment. TRICARE eligible beneficiaries not assigned to WBAMC can receive walk-in immunizations at the Soldier Family Medical Center (SFMC) Immunization Clinic or the WBAMC Adult Immunization Clinic during the hours listed below. To schedule an appointment for immunizations call (915) 742-2273, Option 1

Soldier Family Medical Center (SFMC): Immunization walk-in hours for assigned patients are M-F 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

Mendoza Family Medicine Clinic: Immunization walk-in hours for assigned patients are M-F from 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

WBAMC Adult Immunization Clinic: Immunization walk-in hours for assigned patients are
Monday: Walk-Ins 1:00pm to 3:30pm
Tues & Thurs: By scheduled appointment.
Bradley Bldg, 3rd Floor, Room 3G1

Rio Bravo Clinic: Immunization walk-in hours for assigned patients are M-F 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Desert Sage Clinic: Immunization walk-in hours for assigned patients are M-F 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM

Vaccine Facts

The MMR vaccine is a weakened live virus that causes the immune system to develop immunity to the virus in the vaccine. One dose of MMR vaccine is 93% effective against measles and two doses are 97% effective. Some people who receive two doses may still get measles when exposed to the virus. This is believed by experts to be due to a milder immune response when given the vaccine. The measles vaccine we use today has been in use since 1968. Mild symptoms of the MMR vaccine include fever, rash, and swollen lymph glands.

Individuals who are fully vaccinated and still get measles are more likely to have a milder illness. Fully vaccinated individuals are less likely to spread the measles to other people.

The CDC MMR immunization schedule recommends the first dose be given between 12 and 15 months of age. The second dose is recommended between the ages of 4 and 6 years, prior to entering school.

Infants age 6 to 11 months who are traveling internationally can receive a first dose of MMR. They will need a second and third dose based on the normal immunization schedule.

Any decision to vaccinate infants under 12 months who are not traveling internationally will be announced by Fort Bliss and WBAMC leadership following consultation and collaboration with public health authorities; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); the Texas Department of Health; and the El Paso County Department of Health. Until that occurs, WBAMC will continue to abide by the immunization schedule recommended by the CDC, and will not routinely vaccinate for the measles prior to 12 months old.