Texas state health officials issued a measles health advisory Tuesday due to an outbreak of the extremely contagious disease. The Texas Department of State Health Services reports an outbreak of six confirmed cases in Ellis County, just south of Dallas.
Health officials say all of the individuals were unvaccinated.
Last week, state health officials reported that a ShowBiz Cinemas in Waxahachie customer was sick with measles while attending a movie on Jan. 9 and alerted the theater’s customers of the possible exposure.
Dallas News reports all of the cases are connected, but none of the five additional cases were contracted at the movie theater, health department spokesman Chris Van Deusen said.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. Measles is so contagious that if someone has it, 90 percent of the people around that person who are not immune will also become infected. The measles vaccine is very effective, about 97 percent after two doses, but a few people who are vaccinated can still get sick, so even vaccinated people should monitor for symptoms.
It usually takes about two weeks from the time someone is exposed to the virus for the rash to develop, but it can be as long as three weeks. People are contagious from four days before they get a rash to four days after it appears. The rash usually begins on the face as flat, red spots and then spreads down the neck and trunk to the rest of the body. Other symptoms include a high fever over 101 degrees, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.
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