Ellis County measles investigation expands to include six cases
January 23, 2018
State Health Officials are now investigating six measles cases among unvaccinated people in Ellis County. The Texas Department of State Health Services is advising health care providers in the area to take precautions and consider measles as a possible diagnosis in patients with a fever and rash in addition to a cough, runny nose or conjunctivitis.
The highly contagious nature of measles means it’s possible more cases will occur in the community. People involved in the outbreak have connections to Waxahachie and Midlothian.
DSHS first notified the public on Friday of possible measles exposures after a contagious person attended the ShowBiz Cinemas in Waxahachie on Tuesday, Jan. 9. Five additional cases have been reported since; none of them are connected to the movie theater. People who went to the theater on that day should continue to monitor themselves for measles symptoms through Jan. 30.
It usually takes about two weeks from the time someone is exposed to the measles virus for a rash to develop, but it can take as long as three weeks. People are contagious from four days before they get a rash to four days after it appears and should isolate themselves at home during that period, except to seek medical treatment. 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.
Anyone with these symptoms who thinks they may have been exposed to measles should contact their health care provider and tell them about the exposure. It’s important to call in advance so the provider can take precautions to help prevent staff and other patients from being exposed to measles.
DSHS today issued a health advisory for health care facilities and providers in the area reminding them of proper infection control, testing and treatment practices for measles.
(News Media Contact: Chris Van Deusen, DSHS Director of Media Relations, 512-776-7119)
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