Recent cases of the measles across the United States has Florida governmental officials and the Florida Department of Health urging residents to vaccinated for the measles.
The DOH, in conjunction with federal officials, is working to monitor individuals who may have come in contact with the measles.
“It’s important all Floridians make sure they have received the measles vaccination,” said Dr. John Armstrong, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, in a release, “Those who are fully immunized have very little risk of developing the disease.”
In the past two weeks, there were eight cases of measles identified and reported among travelers. It is unknown if the travelers were vaccinated. Two cases involved international travelers.
There have been no confirmed cases of the measles from Florida residents.
“The department is prepared to deal with any potential emerging infectious disease threat and is committed to ensuring the safety of all residents and visitors in Florida,” said Armstrong.
Vaccination is the most effective form of protection from the virus. Children should receive two doses of the measles immunization with the combination of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. The first dose is to be given between 12 and 15 months of age, while the second dose should be given between four and six years old.
“In Florida, more than 93 percent of kindergartners are vaccinated against this potentially life threatening virus,” said Dr. Tommy Schechtman,President, Florida Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, in a release. “It’s our best defense against this re-emerging healthcare threat and one any responsible parent or guardian should want for their child to keep healthy.”
Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. The disease is highly contagious and is rare in countries and regions of the world where vaccination coverage is high.
Symptoms of the measles tend to begin approximately seven to 14 days after a person is exposed to someone with measles. Signs of the measles include: blotchy rash, fever, cough, runny nose, red/watery eyes, feeling achy, and tiny white spots found inside the mouth.
For more information about the measles, visit www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.