A Tarrant County resident who returned home from India has tested positive for the measles virus.
The resident took a flight from India that stopped in Dubai and arrived at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Jan. 6. The infectious period ended Jan. 7, according to Tarrant County Public Health.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are trying to determine the number of exposed passengers on the international flight. Tarrant County Public Health is investigating how many people may have been exposed locally. The investigation has revealed limited exposure so far.
“We are receiving cooperation from everyone involved in this case and feel confident the public is safe,” Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said.
Measles can be spread by coughing and sneezing. It causes a reddish rash, a high fever, a cough, a runny nose and watery eyes and typically lasts one or two weeks. The rash starts on the face and head and migrates toward the hands and feet.
Most people born in 1957 or after should have documentation of at least one dose of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or other evidence of immunity to measles. The CDC recommends two doses one at 12 months of age and the second at 4 and 6 years.
In a typical year, Tarrant County doesn’t see any measles cases. But last summer, a Northeast Tarrant County resident became infected after attending a softball tournament in Kansas.
In August 2013, 16 measles cases in Tarrant County and five in Denton County were traced to Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, northwest of Fort Worth. Some of the congregation became infected when a visitor who had recently returned from an international mission attended a service.
In 2014, there were 23 outbreaks and 644 cases across the U.S.
Those traveling abroad are advised to make sure their vaccinations are up to date. In 2013, more than 60 percent of the 21.5 million people who did not receive a dose of the measles vaccine came from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Indonesia and the Congo, the CDC said.
Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698