Lubbock could be one plane ride, one visitor, one brush with the wrong person away from a possible measles outbreak.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified over 800 measles cases so far this year — the most since a 1994 outbreak. The outbreaks have so far mainly been clustered among populations with higher vaccination opt-out rates and in places in and around Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York City, due in part to international travel. But measles is known for its ability to spread.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed at least 15 measles cases in Texas this year.
Lubbock has not had a measles case since at least 2000, the furthest the city’s data system goes back. Should a measles case arise in Lubbock, some schools, particularly private schools, are more vulnerable to an outbreak than others.