Categories: Florida

Florida Health Officials Warn Of Recent Measles Cases

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida — Brevard County Health Department officials are encouraging residents to get measles vaccinations after the Florida Department of Health confirmed three cases of measles in neighboring counties.

Altogether, there have been five cases of measles within 50 miles of Brevard County.  The first case was discovered in March in Osceola County. Two more cases were confirmed on April 18th in Indian River County. A third was discovered in an unvaccinated six-year-old child in St. Lucie County last week. And the latest case was confirmed in an adolescent in Indian River County on April 21st.

“Measles is a very serious disease,” said Heidar Heshmati, MD, Florida Department of Health in Brevard County Director. “It is important for everyone to contact their doctor and make sure they have received the measles vaccination to protect themselves and others.”

The Department is encouraging all Floridians who have not been immunized to get vaccinated immediately. Vaccinations are available through the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County or a doctor’s office for little or no cost.

Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing and is highly contagious. When that person sneezes or coughs, droplets spray into the air. It can be transmitted from four days before the rash becomes visible to four days after the rash appears. A typical case of measles begins with mild to moderate fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and sore throat. The symptoms of measles generally begin approximately seven to 14 days after a person is exposed to someone with measles, and include the following:

    Blotchy rash
    Runny nose
    Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
    Feeling run down, achy (malaise)
    Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)

People who develo these symptoms should contact their health care provider right away.

Officials say that measles is very rare in countries and regions of the world that are able to keep vaccination coverage high. There are still sporadic cases of measles in the United States because visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected before or during travel and spread the infection to unvaccinated or unprotected persons.

This article was updated on April 22 to reflect a revised case count.

Image Credit: CDC

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