Department of Health in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas,
Polk, and Sarasota counties are urging Floridians and visitors who have not been
immunized to get vaccinated.
Although measles was thought to be eradicated in the United States in 2000, the
disease has reappeared in recent months in the form of outbreaks in several states. The
Centers for Disease Control and Health Protection defines a measles outbreak as three
or more cases.
As of April 17, 2019, one measles case has been reported to the Florida Department of
Health. No cases have been in the Tampa Bay region.
Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease. Although it is usually considered a
childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age. Generally, preschool children,
adolescents, young adults and inadequately immunized individuals comprise the
majority of measles cases in the United States.
Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing and is highly
contagious. The symptoms of measles generally begin approximately seven to 14 days
after a person is exposed to someone with measles. Symptoms include fever, runny
nose, cough and rash. Anyone who has these symptoms should contact his or her
healthcare provider. There is no specific treatment for measles.
Vaccination Urged to Protect Against Measles
The best way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccinepreventable diseases is by immunization. In Florida, children should be immunized
against measles with the combination measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) and
should receive two doses, with the first at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second at
four to six years of age.
Adults should be vaccinated with at least one dose of MMR vaccine, with a second dose
recommended for those at higher risk such as international travelers and health care
workers. People with underlying health conditions should discuss with their health care
provider to determine the need for additional booster doses.
County health departments offer the MMR vaccine. Contact your county’s health office
for a list of hours, locations, and fees associated with the vaccine.
• Citrus (352) 527-0068
• Hernando (352) 540-6800
• Hillsborough (813) 307-8077
• Manatee (941) 748-0747
• Pasco (813) 364-5812
• Pinellas (727) 824-6900
• Polk (863) 519-7910
• Sarasota (941) 861-2900
For more information on measles, visit floridahealth.gov/measles.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works
to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated
state, county and community efforts.
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Individuals should be cautious of any breaks in the skin before entering the water this summer.
Stay on the beach and out of the water if you have fresh cuts or scrapes. In extremely rare cases, certain bacteria in the water can lead to infections through breaks in the skin.
Additionally, individuals who are immunocompromised, e.g. chronic liver disease, kidney disease, or weakened immune system, should wear proper foot protection to prevent cuts and injury caused by rocks and shells on the beach.
If you cut yourself while on the beach, wash it out with soap and warm water. If you notice redness to the site of an open cut or sore, or develop fever and feel ill, seek medical care immediately. Tell your care provider if and when you were in an open body of water.
Individuals should not enter the water if they have fresh cuts or scrapes. In extremely rare cases, certain bacteria in water can lead to Necrotizing fasciitis or severe infections with Vibrio vulnificus.
Additionally, individuals who are immunocompromised, e.g. chronic liver disease, kidney disease, or weakened immune system, should wear proper foot protection to prevent cuts and injury caused by rocks and shells on the beach.Please see the FDOH's Swim it, Shore it, Dodge it' Public Service Announcement for guidance on when to avoid getting in the water.
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