Clinics stress importance of measles immunization

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WFAA

Posted on August 17, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 17 at 8:32 PM

Public health officials across North Texas are keeping a close watch on the spread of measles.

Two cases have been reported in Denton County, and another two patients are recovering in Dallas County.

But the focus of concern is in Tarrant County, where nine cases have been reported. All the cases are related, and several other people may have been exposed.

Measles was top of mind at back-to-school immunization clinics in Arlington and Dallas on Saturday.

As many as 300 people received vaccinations at the Dallas County Health and Human Services department. Workers opened their doors early Saturday morning because there was such a big line.

Students who are not immunized by the first day of class will be turned away by the school.

Health department director Zachary Thompson said the measles cases are timely, because they highlight the importance of stopping the spread of disease.

"What we're seeing here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with the measles outbreak shows the importance of why our children need to be immunized," he said. "To protect themselves; to protect the community; and that cuts down on the transmission of the measles."

Surprisingly, at another immunization clinic Saturday in Arlington, measles was not on the minds of many parents. Only a few people even mentioned it.

Tarrant County Public Health said its centers have provided vaccinations for about 1,000 in the last five days, about average for this time of year.

State health experts say everyone should know. that measles starts with a reddish rash on your face  that spreads down the body.  Other symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and sore eyes. A case of measles can last for two weeks.

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