A Texas state lawmaker suggested that he is not worried about the recent outbreak of measles across the country because antibiotics can treat the virus.
Texas state Rep. Bill Zedler (R) made the comments Tuesday to the Texas Observer and said he had a case of measles when growing up, before a vaccine for it was developed.
“They want to say people are dying of measles,” he told the Observer. “Yeah, in third-world countries they’re dying of measles. Today, with antibiotics and that kind of stuff, they’re not dying in America.”
Since their invention, vaccines for measles have been largely effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates only about 2 to 5 percent of children who get the vaccine within the first 12 months contract measles.
Antibiotics, which are used to treat bacterial infections, are not effective against viruses.
Measles outbreaks in recent months have gained national attention, with dozens of cases being reported in Washington state.
The growing anti-vaccine movement which finds space in several social media circles is being pegged as one of the reasons for an increase in measles outbreaks.
There have been eight reported cases of measles in Texas this year, according to the Department of State Health Services.
The Texas legislature is currently considering a bill that would give parents easier access to vaccine exemptions for their children in schools. Zedler is reportedly in support of the bill.