All those Texan residents who have not immunized themselves against measles should do so as the viral infection is on the upswing!

With numerous cases of measles surfacing across Texas in the past month, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has issued a high alert against the viral disease.

Spurt in measles cases
According to official sources, the state has recorded14 cases of measles so far this year. This sudden spike in infections is cause for concern given that no measles case was reported last year and there were just six in 2011.Health regulators are urging residents to get immunized against the viral infection.

Based on the figures released Friday 13 of the 14 confirmed cases are in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. Nine cases have emerged in Tarrant County while Denton and Dallas counties have each reported had two measles cases. The other diagnosis is in Harris County.

Agency officials say all of the nine cases of measles in Tarrant County are related. Apparently, an adult who traveled abroad passed the highly transmittable virus on to his child which triggered the other cases.

Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zach Thompson said, “When you talk about a correlation, we understand people congregate together … so there’s a possibility of the measles spreading,” he said. “That’s why we’re encouraging Dallas County residents to always check their children’s immunization records as well as adults to make sure they’re immunized against measles.”

A little about measles
Measles is a viral infection caused by the rubeola virus. It is a highly contagious disease that spreads easily though coughing, sneezing and secretions from the mouth.

The virus may remain in the air for a couple of hours. People with the measles are contagious for four days before and four days after the rash appears. Measles typically develop seven to 18 days after a person is exposed to the virus.

Early symptoms are mild to moderate fever, runny nose, cough and red, watery eyes and sore throat. Within one to four days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth. Around five days later a reddish brown rash shows up on your face and spreads to the rest of the body. This may be accompanied by a spike in temperature.

The health regulators explained, “The incubation period of measles is about two weeks from exposure to onset of rash. People are contagious from four days before onset of rash to four days after the appearance of rash. The rash usually begins on the face and spreads to the trunk.”

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