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Texas nurse fired after posting on patient's measles on anti-vaccination page



A nurse at a Texas hospital where an infant was tested positive for measles was dismissed after reporting on the diagnosis on an anti-vaccination website, according to hospital officials.

The employee's release comes just one day after the Texas Children's Hospital has stated that it is investigating the incident.

"We were made aware that one of our nurses has published information about a patient on social media," the hospital said Tuesday night. "We take these things very seriously, because the privacy and well-being of our patients are always the highest priority, and after an internal investigation, this person is no longer in the organization."

The Texas Children's Hospital in Houston said on Monday that it had prevented a nurse from seeing patients after they reportedly posted about the condition of a boy in an anti-vaccination group on Facebook a statement.

She allegedly wrote about the case on the Facebook page "Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children ̵

1; Texas", which has since been deleted. A worried parent shot screenshots of the unidentified sister's comments on the hospital's Facebook page late on Friday.

  PHOTO: A bottle of measles vaccine is seen at the Miami Childrens Hospital in Miami on May 16, 2014 Joe Raedle / Getty Images, FILE
A bottle of measles vaccine is in Miami Children's Hospital, May 16, 2014 in Miami

"I think it's easy for us nonvoxists to make guesses, but most of us have never seen any of these diseases and will never see them," the self-proclaimed nurse wrote, according to the screenshots. "[F] or for the first time in my career, I've seen measles this week, in fact, most of my staff and the emergency department saw measles for the first time, and to be honest, it was tough, the kid was so sick the ICU and he looked miserable.

"By no means have I changed my vax attitude, and I'll never do it, but I just wanted to share my experience and how much worse it was than I expected," she added.

The nurse claimed that the patient had recently traveled to a region "where measles are very common" and speculated that he may have been infected abroad.

The Texas Children's Hospital responded on Friday to their parents' mail, confirming that it knew of the post office.

"Thank you for your contribution, we are aware of this situation and have launched a thorough investigation, we take these matters very seriously," wrote the hospital. The statement was later edited to add: "The views of this employee do not represent those of the organization."

If confirmed, the infant's diagnosis this year would mark the eighth measles case of the state. More than 100 people were diagnosed in the US this year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The hospital issued a lengthy statement on Monday saying that it had turned to children who might have had contact with the infected baby.

"A patient treated at Texas Children's Hospital West Campus was positive for measles, a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable infection, and we know the vaccine is the best protection against measles," he said Hospital on Monday the Houston ABC transmitter KTRK. "Our infection control and prevention team immediately identified other children who may have come into contact with this patient to assess their risk and make clinical recommendations, and we've contacted all of these families."

  PHOTO: A dose of measles vaccine is seen at Miami Childrens Hospital on June 2, 2014 in Miami. Joe Raedle / Getty Images
A dose of measles vaccine will be seen at the Miami Children's Hospital on June 2, 2014 in Miami.

She said that the nurse in question was in good standing with the licensing authority, but she would not comment on her vaccination status. The hospital says it strongly encourages all employees to receive the recommended vaccines.

Measles, also known as rubeola, is a highly contagious virus that spreads through respiratory droplets, especially coughing and sneezing, according to medical officials. Early symptoms include high fever, runny nose, cough, and red eyes, which are preceded by red spots on the face.

"Measles are such a problem because one thing is preventable, we have a vaccine that can prevent it," Dr. Umair Shah, managing director of the Harris County health care system, Texas, opposite KTRK. "And two, it's so easy to transfer to someone else … vaccines save lives."


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