The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a recent outbreak of the measles -- including one of the two cases in Tarrant County -- may have be linked to a Florida air show last month.
The Tarrant County Health Department confirmed Tuesday that it is investigating two cases of measles. Other cases are being reported in Minnesota and Houston.
CDC spokesman Jeffrey Dimond said a March air show in Orlando, Fla., seems to be the common place where the virus was contracted. He stressed that the location has not been completely confirmed, but said that all signs so far point to the event.
But Tarrant County health officials said it's too early in the investigation to link the local cases with the national cases. The county said the investigation is ongoing and could not confirm that the cases in Tarrant County are related to the air show.
A spokesperson with the Minnesota Department of Health did not have information regarding the location, other than the state of Florida.
Orange County, Fla., Health Department spokesman Dain Weister said investigators in Florida were still a few weeks away from confirming the exact location.
Florida health officials investigating five cases
Officials in Florida confirmed they are looking into five cases of the measles, including three in Texas.
Weister said there are three confirmed cases of the measles with ties to the Orlando area. He also said two probable cases -- both in Texas -- are being investigated.
He could not say whether the two Tarrant County cases were the probable cases.
The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed that the case in Houston has connections to travel to Orlando.
Tarrant County's first case was a woman in her 30s who visited Orlando in March and contracted the virus. A man who lives at the same home then contracted the disease from her. County health officials have not confirmed their relation to one another or their ages.
The department said Wednesday that children living in the home have not shown signs of the disease and there have been no additional cases.
The measles cases are the first in Tarrant County in 17 years.
Those who contracted measles did not show signs of it until after they left Florida.
Foreign visitor could be source of U.S. outbreak
So far, there have been no reported cases in Florida, which could mean the source is from out of the country.
Dr. Brian Youree, an infectious disease specialist with Texas Harris Health Fort Worth, said there are only about 50 to 60 cases of the disease per year in the United States.
Most Americans born after 1957 have been vaccinated for measles, which leaves a small group of people susceptible to contracting the disease.
"Ninety percent of those who contract measles will not have been vaccinated properly or they did not have an adequate immune response to the vaccine," Youree said.
He also said those with immune deficiencies or who didn't take to other vaccinations may be vulnerable. But people who have received all of their immunizations should have nothing to worry about.
Those concerned about their vaccinations or possibly having the disease should contact their primary doctors.
Youree also encouraged people to read up on the measles at the CDC's website: www.cdc.gov/measles
Most U.S. cases of the measles are imported cases, such as someone visiting from overseas or someone who contracts it while traveling abroad.
In Minnesota, there are 15 cases of the measles; 12 linked to Kenya, one to India and the last to the Florida outbreak.
Weister said the source in Orlando could possibly be imported. If that's the case, it could be hard, if not impossible, to find the person as he or she has likely returned home.