Measles alert issued in Texas

The Texas Department of State Health Services issued a health alert on Friday for the measles.

The alert comes after six confirmed cases of measles were discovered in the past month, which increased the total number of cases to 11 for the year. In 2012 there were no reported cases of the measles in Texas.

State health officials are asking that everyone at risk from the measles head to a health official and receive a measles vaccination. Immunization is the best way to protect against and stop the spread of the measles.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness that is spread by coughing and sneezing. For people without immunization and who are close enough to the person with the virus, the rate of contagion is near 90 percent.

The incubation period for the measles is around two weeks. Symptoms include a rash that begins on the face and moves to the trunk of the body, along with fever, cough, sore eyes and a runny nose.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is asking that everyone know the symptoms of the measles and receive immediate attention should they see the signs. Vaccination shortly after exposure can prevent the disease or lessen the symptoms.