Measles reported in 21 states, including Florida, according to CDC

TAMPA BAY, Fla. — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 107 people from 21 states, including Florida, have reported contracting measles between January 1 to July 14, 2018.

Measles is a virus that is easily spread by air droplets when infected persons breathe, cough, or sneeze. The first symptoms are a high fever that may spike to 105°F, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. These symptoms are followed by a blotchy rash that spreads from the head to the feet.

Measles is a potentially severe disease, especially young children and persons with compromised immune systems. The majority of people who get measles were unvaccinated, the CDC warns.

According to the CDC, the following states were reported to have measles:

  1. Arkansas
  2. California
  3. Connecticut
  4. Florida
  5. Illinois
  6. Indiana
  7. Kansas
  8. Louisiana
  9. Maryland
  10. Michigan
  11. Missouri
  12. Nevada
  13. New Jersey 
  14. New York
  15. North Carolina
  16. Oklahoma
  17. Oregon
  18. Pennsylvania
  19. Tennessee
  20. Texas
  21. Washington
  22. District of Colombia

In the state of Florida, seven people have reportedly contracted measles, three of which are in Pinellas County, according to the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County.

"We continue to encourage parents to fully vaccinate their children," said DOH-Pinellas Director Dr. Ulyee Choe, an infectious disease specialist. "Measles is a highly contagious disease that can have serious complications for babies and children."

Unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to measles may be excluded for up to 21 days from public places such as school and work where they could infect others.

Persons with symptoms of measles should be evaluated by their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to immediately report suspected cases of measles to the department of health.

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