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Officials: At least 30 unknown Texans exposed to measles in Kansas

Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 11:46am

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is attempting to track down more than 30 Texans who may have been exposed to measles in Wichita, Kansas.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Communication Director Sara Belfry, eight softball teams participated in a loosely organized event over the July 4 weekend. The squads hailed from Missouri, Nebraska, Texas and Kansas--- at least three teams were from Texas.

Belfry said the games were put together via Facebook and played at the South Lakes Sports Complex.

The Texas DSHS has not yet identified where the teams originated and has not yet identified any cases of measles in the state associated with the event. Officials urge anyone in Texas who attended the event to call the department (512-776-7676) to report the potential exposure.

Anyone with measles symptoms should call their health care provider. Health care providers should be on alert for potential exposures and patients with measles symptoms.

The incubation period of measles is about two weeks from exposure to onset of rash, but may be as short as one week or as long as three weeks. People are contagious from four days before onset of rash to four days after the appearance of rash. The rash usually begins on the face and spreads to the trunk. Other symptoms include fever (higher than 101 degrees), cough, runny nose and sore eyes.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune or vaccinated will also become infected with the measles virus.State health officials urge immunization to protect against and prevent the spread of measles. People should check their immunization status with their healthcare provider.

Last year there were 27 reported measles cases in Texas and none in 2012.

Doctors should consider measles in their diagnosis if they have a patient with a rash and fever. If measles is suspected, they should report the patient to their local health department as soon as possible. People who have measles or are suspected of having measles should seek medical attention and otherwise stay home until four days after the rash appeared. People with measles symptoms should contact the medical provider's office before arrival to limit spread to other patients.


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