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Measles Outbreak Sparks Increase In Immunizations

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 News) - Despite a measles outbreak in Tarrant County, dozens of families spent their day outdoors enjoying the cooler North Texas weather.

Fourteen cases of the highly contagious virus have been reported in Texas, nine of those are out of Tarrant county. Those 9 cases are all connected, Tarrant County public health officials said Friday. Those infected have been asked to self-isolate.

But concerned residents say they’d like more information about the cases, specifically, the ages of those infected and the city in which the patients live.

“They let you know about the West Nile Virus so why not let you know where the measles outbreak is?” said Jana Bramlett, a Fort Worth resident.

Doctors all over North Texas are being asked to be on high alert, checking patients for possible symptoms, which include a red rash starting in the face and traveling down the body, high fever, runny nose and sore eyes. People with the measles are considered infections for 7 to 18 days. The Centers for Disease Control says 90 percent of people who come into contact with an infected person will contract the virus. The virus is airborne and is transmitted through coughing and sneezing.

At Dallas County Health and Human Services, lines to get immunized stretched around the building, measles was a concern for many families, especially for parents of young kids.

Zach Thompson, Director at Dallas County Health and Human Services, said the recent outbreak of the measles stresses the importance of getting immunized.

“The key point in preventing measles is that it is vaccine-preventable and we encourage families to come in, if not to Dallas County Health and Human Services, to go to their physician and get vaccinated,” he said.

State law requires children to get their shot records updated before they can go back to school.

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