Confirmed measles case in Dallas-Fort Worth, county health department says

Denton County Public Health confirmed there is at least one measles case in the county on Wednesday.

The health department did not say where specifically the case was in order to protect patient confidentiality.

This is the seventh confirmed case of measles in Texas in the past week.

Three were reported in Harris County and one was reported in Galveston County by the counties’ health departments. One case was reported in Montgomery County, according to ABC 13, and another was in Bell County, KCentTV reported.

“Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent measles,” Dr. Matt Richardson, director of public health, said in a news release. “Unfortunately, people think that measles is just a rash and fever but measles can cause serious health concerns, especially in young children, and is highly contagious. Vaccination is incredibly effective at protecting those we love from this infection.”

Children should receive measles vaccination via one dose of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) when they are 12 to 15 months old and another dose before entering school when they are between 4 to 6 years old, according to the health department.

Recently, Fort Worth, Plano, Houston and Austin were singled out as anti-vaccine “hotspots” because a number of Texas families are opting out of vaccines, according to a study in PLOS Medicine.

Texas students have to show vaccination records to attend child care centers and public or private schools. But Texas is among 18 states that allow families to opt out of vaccines through personal exemptions. An exemption is filed for “Reasons of Conscience” when parents decide they do not want their child to receive vaccines for any reason.

Symptoms of measles include:

  • Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis).
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek — also called Koplik’s spots.
  • A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another.

Diane Smith contributed to this report.

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Kaley Johnson is a breaking news and enterprise reporter. She majored in investigative reporting at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has a passion for bringing readers in-depth, complex stories that will impact their lives. Send your tips via email or Twitter.