Two Cases of Measles Confirmed in Florida
The Florida Department of Health has identified two cases of the measles in Pinellas and Broward counties.
Due to the infectious nature of the disease, officials are concerned it could spread throughout the state.
The Florida Department of Health has already identified more than 300 people in the state who could have been exposed to the highly contagious disease by coming in contact with these two patients.
The virus spreads when a sick person coughs or sneezes and then a healthy person breathes in the contaminated air or touches surfaces they’ve come in contact with.
That’s why UCF Health’s Dr. Aishah Ali says people should get the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella or MMR vaccine-the only protection against the disease-if they haven’t already.
"After two doses of the MMR vaccine, your chance of getting the measles is 97 percent unlikely. So it's 97 percent effective which is great. It's a very high percentage for a vaccine."
Ali says there are some exceptions for vaccination-including:
“People who have an immunodeficiency. Patients who have cancer should not be getting the MMR vaccine who are in therapy for that. Patients who have HIV so there is a subgroup of patients who can’t get it.”
But that's why she says people who can get vaccinated should-they will protect themselves and also family members, neighbors, and coworkers who can't get vaccinated.
Ali says the disease can be deadly for these patients with weakened immune systems.
And she says complications for these high-risk groups include deafness, pneumonia, encephalitis, and death.
The CDC has reported more than 700 measles cases across the country this year-the highest number since the disease was considered eradicated in 2000.
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