Number of Measles cases rises; Texas & Okla. health officials urge precaution

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SHERMAN, TX -- A measles outbreak in North Texas has state health officials in both Texas and Oklahoma urging precaution.

The number of infected people in Texas continues to grow. There are now 15 children and adults in Tarrant and Denton counties who have contracted Measles.

State health officials say there are potentially hundreds of people in North Texas who have been exposed to the disease.

"I think it's important. We want him and all his classmates to go through the necessary things and steps," Brook

Andy Brooke was one of dozens of parents getting their children vaccinated at the Grayson County Health Department Wednesday.

"It's better to know that they'll be safe with shots than regret not giving it to them and they catch something because they didn't have their shots," parent Marccos Hernandez said.

Most of these children are receiving their shots in order to go back to school.

But, with a Measles outbreak in Tarrant and Denton counties, health officials say it's a cause of concern and they stress the importance of getting vaccinated.

Of the 15 people who have measles in North Texas, more than half were not vaccinated.

"It scares me a lot to know that that's actually going on and it's actually spreading," Hernandez said.

"Most of the cases in the United States are from people who've traveled overseas and either haven't kept their immunizations up to date, or didn't get immunized in the first place," Dr. Ted Hayes said.

Pediatrician Ted Hayes says Texomans should be safe from the outbreak, but should avoid traveling to the infected counties.

"It would be concerning until they have the outbreak under better control," he said.

People with symptoms of Measles have a fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. It's spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing.

"There's 10 to 15 percent of the population in the United States at all times is susceptible to measles either because their immunization's are lapse, or the immunization didn't work in the first place," Dr. Hayes said.

But, Dr. Hayes says getting your shots is the best bet to staying healthy.

There were no reported cases of measles in Texas last year, and although there hasn't been a measles case in Oklahoma since 1997, state health officials are urging Oklahoma residents to be aware of the North Texas outbreak because it is highly contagious.

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