State health officials warned in mid-April that a child in Houston and two adults in Fort Worth were diagnosed with the measles in the previous two weeks.
"Although these cases are believed to have been exposed at an event in Florida, community spread may have occurred from these or other unreported cases," said a Department of State Health Services (DSHS) advisory. "Additionally, the City of Lubbock Health Department is following up on an out-of-state resident with measles who was seen in a local emergency room. Because of these cases, all health care providers in Texas are asked to consider measles in the differential diagnosis of febrile rash illness."
The advisory reminds physicians that they must report measles immediately to their local health department or DSHS. "Do not wait for laboratory confirmation to report the patient. Laboratory testing for measles includes a serological assay for measles IgM and viral isolation (usually from a throat swab). The state or local health department can provide information and assistance on laboratory testing at the DSHS lab or other labs," DSHS said.
DSHS says physicians who suspect a patient may have measles should isolate the patient. In hospitals, negative air pressure rooms are recommended. In addition, the department says, all visitors and staff working with the patient should use airborne precautions.
For additional information, contact Rachel Wiseman at DSHS at (512) 458-7111, ext. 2632.
Action, April 15, 2011