UPDATE: Student was not infected with measles at La Porte Elementary

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor, Cathy Hernandez - Reporter

LA PORTE, Texas - Students returned to school Wednesday morning after reports came out Tuesday that a pre-kindergarten student at La Porte Elementary School had a suspected case of the measles, according to the school district.

After testing, it was determined that the student did not have the measles.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of the infected person. It is commonly spread through coughing and sneezing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, measles is so contagious, that if someone has it, 90 percent of the people around them who are not vaccinated will be infected.

The CDC says symptoms begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Then, days later, white spots inside the mouth and a rash break out.

There have been seven confirmed cases of the measles in Texas, including three in Harris County, one in Montgomery County and one in Galveston County. 

The district said it disinfected all classrooms and common areas at the campus as a precautionary measure.

According to La Porte Independent School District officials, the district worked closely with the Harris County Department of Public Health in order to "take all steps necessary to ensure the well-being of our students."

The CDC recommends giving children two doses of the measles vaccine.

However, parents who choose not to vaccinate can file for a vaccine exemption through the state for medical, religious or personal reasons.

Those parents acknowledge their children may be excluded from classes during virus outbreaks.

There is no word on if that will apply to any students at La Porte Elementary School or whether the district asked them to stay home.

Meanwhile, health advocates in Houston are meeting Wednesday morning urging lawmakers to support strong vaccine legislation. 

Here is the letter that was sent to parents:

"This past week we reported a suspected measles case at one of our elementary campuses. After additional testing by Harris County Public Health, it has been determined that the child did not contract the measles. Please click on the headline to see the letter that will be sent to parents.

"As you know, the health and well-being of all La Porte ISD students and staff is extremely important to us. Last week, we made you aware that a La Porte Elementary student was ill with what a physician suspected to be measles. We are pleased to report that Harris County Public Health officials have notified us that, based on additional testing, the child does not have measles.

"We appreciate the parent of the child informing us of the initial diagnosis so that we could take necessary precautionary measures. Please be assured that we will always take whatever steps are needed to help ensure the health of our students and staff.

"As always, if you have any specific concerns or questions about your child’s health, we encourage you to contact your health care provider."

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