Florida state health officials have reported an increase in measles cases in the state in 2018 compared to 2017, according to available data.
The Florida Department of Health saw 14 total measles cases this year with 11 of them acquired in the state. The remaining three cases were acquired outside the US.
The 14 total cases reported in 2018 is much higher than 2017 when a total of three cases, all acquired overseas, were reported.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 292 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 26 states and the District of Columbia as of Dec. 1.
Measles is a disease that can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs), and even death. It is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Signs and symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.
Measles can be prevented with MMR vaccine. The vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.
The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.
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