Measles in Florida

Measles Signs & Symptoms

 

As you may know, there have been confirmed cases of measles in Pinellas County Florida in 2018. Here are the most common symptoms of measles:

  1. Fever
  2. Cough
  3. Runny nose
  4. Red, watery eyes
  5. Rash – tiny spots in the mouth and face that spread to neck, abdomen, arms, legs, and feet

Currently there is no treatment for measles, and it must run its course. If your child gets dehydrated or weak due to measles, you can take them to a pediatric urgent care facility. They will be able to give an IV or other aid to make your child comfortable.

 

Dangers of the measles virus

 

Children’s immune systems are much more vulnerable, and they can contract measles from anyone who is carrying the illness. The majority of people who contract measles in the 21st century are unvaccinated.

 

Further, not every child has a healthy immune system, and not every child can get the measles vaccination. That makes it even more vital that everyone who CAN get the vaccine does so. This helps to protect children who are vulnerable to measles.

 

Measles can lead to complications, including pneumonia, bronchitis, encephalitis, and neurological issues.

 

Additionally, some patients who have had measles experience a rare BUT FATAL degenerative disease of the nervous system called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). SSPE can appear 7-10 years after initial measles infection. Patients experience behavioral problems, intellectual decline, and seizures.

 

How to protect your child from measles

 

Number one is ALWAYS to make sure you and your children’s vaccinations are up to date. The measles vaccine (MMR) can first be administered between 12 – 15 months, then again between 4 – 6 years.

  1. Wear masks in public areas, including schools, public transportation, and doctor’s offices. Measles is primarily spread by coughing and sneezing.
  2. Make sure family members and other people who come into contact with your child are vaccinated.
  3. If you’re planning on traveling internationally, your child will need 1-2 doses of the measles vaccine beforehand. While traveling, carry masks for you and your child.
  4. If you know someone has measles, wait FOUR DAYS after their rash disappears to allow them in contact with your child.

To help protect our patients and staff we are providing masks at the entry door and front desks at our urgent care centers.

 

For your safety, we ask that you wear a mask if you or your child:

  • Has a comprised immune system
  • Have not had the MMR vaccine
  • And/or are presenting with a fever and a rash.

For more information about measles please go to  https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

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