After reporting nine confirmed measles cases in all of 2018, state health officials have reported eight in just the first six weeks of 2019.


Through Feb. 14, four cases have been reported in Harris County, while one each has been confirmed in Bell, Denton, Galveston and Montgomery counties.

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 become infected.

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DSHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend children get a dose of measles vaccine at 12-15 months of age and again at 4-6 years. The measles vaccine is very effective, about 97 percent after two doses. Children too young to be vaccinated or who have only had one dose of vaccine are more likely to get infected.

A hallmark of measles is a rash that begins as flat, red spots on the face and 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. Anyone who believes they have measles should contact their health care provider as soon as possible.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from January 1 to February 14, 2019, 127 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 10 states.