A nurse at the Texas Children's Hospital was fired after she posted social information about a rare measles case in the city, hospital officials said Tuesday.
The hospital took the action four days after learning the nurses on Facebook page called proud parents of unvaccinated children. Her positions involved a boy between the ages of 1 and 3 who is currently being treated at the hospital's Western Campus in the Energy Corridor. He has acquired measles overseas, the health department in Houston confirmed.
Texas Children's gave no information about where the boy's family traveled, his exact age or his condition.
"We were made aware that one of our nurses was posting protected health information about a patient on social media," said Texas Children's in a statement. "We take these things very seriously, because the privacy and well-being of our patients is always the top priority, and after an internal investigation, this person is no longer in the organization."
A Texas childrens spokesperson said the nurse was out of prison on Friday Hospital ward after the hospital officials saw the posts and opened an investigation. The nurse, a self-described anti-Vaxxer, reported "how much worse (measles) was than I expected," based on the case.
The measles case is the first in Houston since 201
Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable, infectious disease caused by a virus. It is particularly dangerous to be able to cause severe neurological disorders and death in infants and the developing fetus in pregnant women.
"It can cause a devastating range of conditions in the very young," Dr. David Persse, Health Department for the City of Houston. "That's why it's so important to protect those of extreme age so everyone gets vaccinated."
The vaccine is given in two doses, the first at the age of 12 to 15 months and the second at the age of 4 to 6 years of age. The boy, who was treated at Texas Children's, had not yet had his first dose before the family left the country, Persse said. Family members were vaccinated.
The nurse, who performed her job at Texas Children's on Facebook as a pediatric intensive nurse, described the "rough" experience of seeing a child with measles for the first time.
"I think it's easy for us non-Vaxxer to make guesses, but most of us have never seen any of these diseases and will never see them," she said in screenshots of the posts that chronicle had received. "By no means did I change my vax posture, and I'll never do it, but this poor kid was bad and as a parent I could see that I had to vaccinate out of fear."
She said she was my little one Non vax journey will continue without remorse, but I will definitely have compassion on those who vigorously vaccinate. "
Texas Children's said the layoff was because the nurse posted proprietary health information, not because of her anti-vaccination views.
In the last 10 years, Houston has averaged less than one reported case of measles per year, In Harris County, there were four cases, two each in 2013 and 2014.
Houston's MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination coverage for children under 2 is 94.5 percent, better than the national rate of 91.1 percent and the Texas rate of 89.8 percent.
Texas Children's reported the case to the Houston Health Department Monday. It is still being treated as a "suspicious" case of measles still in use by the centers Disease control and prevention need to be reviewed.
The Texas Children's Hospital has contacted families of other children who may have come into contact with the boy Statement from the hospital.
Measles are spread through direct contact with discharge through the nose and mouth as well as through coughing and sneezing. Common symptoms include fever, runny nose, coughing cough, red eyes with severe photosensitivity and pronounced rash.
In one of the posts, the nurse seemed to notice that she had survived.
"Sorry guys I worked too hard (and owed too much money to jeopardize my license) so I deleted many of my answers," she wrote. "I love my job, I love being in the healthcare industry, I really want to keep information to a minimum, and if / when this case does news, I'll work it out. Stay strong in your beliefs! We're all up for good reason this trip! "
The nurse's Facebook page could not be found on Tuesday.