Fort Worth

Tarrant County has its first measles case since 2015

Measles has returned to Tarrant county for the first time four years.

Tarrant County Public Health said Thursday that this is the first case confirmed in the county since January 2015 and it is not related to any of the Texas outbreaks.

“This person recently traveled out of the country to an area experiencing an increase in measles cases,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja in a statement. “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.”

There are currently measles travel notices worldwide in England, France, Greece, Italy, Indonesia, Philippines, Romania, Serbia, Israel, Ukraine, Japan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Columbia, Brazil, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Many of the travel-related cases in the U.S. have come from the Philippines but Tarrant County Public Health is not saying where this person traveled, said Russ Jones, the agency’s chief epidemiologist.

In North Texas, there have now been four confirmed cases. In addition to the new one in Tarrant, there have been 2 in Collin County and one in Denton County.

On the Tarrant County case, Jones said there hasn’t been any evidence of the broader community being exposed.

“It is not a general community outbreak,” Jones said. “We believe we know all of the contacts and we have been contacting them.”

The last outbreak in Tarrant County occurred in 2013 when there were 15 cases in Tarrant County and 5 in Denton County that linked back to the 1,500-member Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark where a visitor returning from an international mission attended a service and exposed church members to the disease.

Measles is preventable with a vaccine.

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

The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed 14 measles cases this year.

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