FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – As North Texas parents get their children vaccinated in time for the new school year – a measles outbreak is raising the level of concern.
Fifteen cases of the rare, very contagious disease have been confirmed in Texas – 14 in North Texas – and ten in Tarrant County. The most recent case was confirmed late Monday afternoon.
All of the Tarrant County cases are related and connected to a single resident, who traveled out of the country and developed measles upon returning to Texas. Tarrant County health officials are not saying to which country that resident traveled.
A health alert, issued on Friday, is still in place and Tarrant County Public Health’s chief epidemiologist Russell Jones says the chance of measles cases increasing is high.
“We’re following up on other reports we’ve received of people who have been symptomatic,” said Jones.
With the start of school right around the corner, Jones said health officials are contacting school district and school nurses.
WATCH: Dr. Crystal Foster talks about measles symptoms and diagnosis
In Dallas County, two measles cases were reported earlier this summer. Those cases are not related to this recent outbreak and are considered closed cases.
On Monday, the City of Dallas issued an alert to physicians and the public to make them aware of the outbreak in Tarrant County.
“Because we are in close proximity in the DFW area…people travel,” said Zach Thompson, Dallas County Health and Human Services Director. “We are looking out for any contact investigations.”
Health officials are urging that anyone who has not been vaccinated against the measles vaccine to get the shot now.
For parents at a back-to-school vaccination clinic in Fort Worth, the measles vaccine was top of mind.
“I’m trying to get the boys shots and for measles that’s my main concern,” said Laura Fuentes, who has sons in middle school.
Measles symptoms include a rash that starts on the face, then moves down. High fever, cough, and pink-watery eyes usually accompany the rash. The Centers for Disease Control says most people who are immunized against measles contract it while in Europe or Southeast Asia.
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