Texas Department of State Health Services has issued a measles health alert after being notified by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment that more than 30 Texas residents may have been exposed to the highly contagious disease at a Wichita, Kansas, softball event during the July 4th weekend.
At least three recreational softball teams from Texas traveled to Wichita to participate in the informal tournament held at the South Lakes Sports Complex. DSHS is investigating to get additional details about the event and who may have been exposed. DSHS has not yet identified any Texas measles cases associated with the event.
DSHS urges 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.
The health alert is available at: www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/releases/Measles-health-alert-071614.pdf