Two cases of measles reported in northern Tarrant County

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WFAA

Posted on August 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 15 at 5:40 PM

Tarrant County Public Health reported two cases of measles in northern Tarrant County, the first recorded cases in the county since 2011.

One of the patients recently traveled to a country where measles is prevalent, and the other is a relative of that patient, who is a child.

Measles causes a reddish rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes, usually lasting one to two weeks, according to the health department's release. The rash begins on the face and head and then proceeds downward and outward to the hands and feet.

It can be spread from four days before the rash appears to four days afterwards.

“Measles is highly contagious and is spread easily by breathing, coughing, sneezing or even coming in close contact with an infected person,” said Tarrant County Public Health Chief Epidemiologist Russell Jones in a press release. “The public health investigation and response is currently ongoing. Local physicians and other health-care providers are being advised to consider measles in their initial diagnosis of patients with compatible symptoms. Anyone who develops symptoms of measles should check with their health-care provider.”

The virus may stay in the air for up to two hours after an infectious person has been present.

Children have been vaccinated against measles since 1957, but immunity may not last a lifetime. Adults who have not been immunized against measles or have never had measles should contact their health care provider.

Health officials are warning residents, school nurses, and doctors to be on the lookout for the highly-contagious virus.

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