Tarrant County reports first measles case for 2019

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) on Thursday March 21 confirmed a Tarrant County resident has tested positive for measles. This is the first case of measles reported in Tarrant County in several years and it is not related to any other measles case in North Texas, according to the TCPH..

“This person recently travelled out of country to an area experiencing an increase in measles cases,” said Vinny Taneja, Director of Tarrant County Public Health. “We are always concerned about the health of any resident who travels and returns to Tarrant County and shortly afterward develops signs or symptoms of a disease,” said Taneja. “We are grateful for the cooperation we’re receiving from everyone involved in this case and feel confident the public is safe.”

The Texas Health and Human Services department on March 6 said there were 10 reports of measles in the state so far this year. Denton County reported a case in February of this year. 

Measles is an airborne disease spread by coughing and sneezing. It causes a reddish rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes. It usually lasts one to two weeks. The rash begins on the face and head and then proceeds downward and outward to the hands and feet. It fades in the same order it began, from head to feet.

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The last recorded case of measles in Tarrant County was in January 2015.

TCPH reminds residents that measles is a vaccine-preventable disease. Adults who have received a measles vaccine series are considered immune. Those who have not been immunized against measles, or have never had measles, should contact their healthcare provider. Residents considering foreign travel should always check their health status beforehand.

Most people born in 1957 or after should have documentation of at least one dose of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine or other evidence of immunity to measles. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of the vaccine. The first dose should be given at 12 months of age and the second between the ages of 4 to 6 years.