The Florida Department of Health has confirmed a measles case in a child in Miami-Dade County. Health officials say the child was unvaccinated.

Miami-Dade County map Image/David Benbennick
Miami-Dade County map
Image/David Benbennick

State Surgeon General Celeste Philip said in a press release announcing the measles case that the best way to protect people against the disease is to get vaccinated. “This case serves as a reminder for all residents to check their immunization records or contact their primary care provider’s office to make sure they are up to date on the measles vaccine,” she notes.

This is the second measles case reported in Florida in 2016. Two weeks ago, an adult man from Collier County was the first confirmed case in the state.

LISTEN: Measles: A primer with Erin Archer Kelser, RN, BSN, CIC

Measles or rubeola, is an acute highly communicable viral disease that is characterized by Koplik spots in the cheek or tongue very early in the disease. A couple of days later a red blotchy rash appears first on the face, and then spreads, lasting 4-7 days. Other symptoms include fever, cough and red watery eyes. The patient may be contagious from four days prior to the rash appearance to four days after rash appearance.

How contagious is measles? Answer: Very

The disease is more severe in infants and adults. Complications from measles which is reported in up to 20% of people infected include; seizures, pneumonia, deafness and encephalitis.

Health officials are urging folks to check their vaccine records to ensure they’ve been immunized. The Measles, Mumps, and Rubella shot is the best way to protect you and your family. It’s given in two doses — the first at 12 to 15 months old and the second between four and six years.