"We know there's a link between two of the Houston-area cases, and public health is investigating to determine whether the others are linked or whether they occurred independently", Texas Department of State Health Services spokesman Chris Van Deusen said. The mainstream of those infected are children, who have not been vaccinated against the disease, executives said.
Health officials say five cases of measles have been confirmed in southern Texas, including four children under the age of 2. Clark County officials said that a majority of the patients affected, 41, were not vaccinated.
Beckham said new cases of measles are becoming more common than before, saying the last time they had a confirmed case was previous year. A New York Department of Health official confirmed to ABC News last week that there were 30 confirmed cases to date in New York so far this year, and 122 confirmed cases in 2018.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus that is spread through coughing and sneezing. Yet one or two out of every 1,000 children who get measles will die from complications, according to the CDC.
DSHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend children get a dose of the measles vaccine at 12-15 months of age and again at 4-6 years.
DCPH will continue to monitor and investigate any measles concerns within Denton County. The measles vaccine is reported to be very effective; 97 percent of those who receive both vaccinations are immune.
Symptoms include a high fever, coughing, runny nose and watery, red eyes between seven and 14 days after infection, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Hotez told the Houston Chronicle that measles peaks in late winter early spring, before the measles vaccine became more widespread. DCPH encourages individuals with signs and symptoms of measles to contact their health care provider prior to visiting.