Officials with the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County (DOH-Hillsborough) report investigating a confirmed measles case in an individual with recent overseas travel.
The patient, an adult male, reported travel to South America in recent weeks.
Healthcare providers, including hospital emergency departments, have been asked to have a heightened awareness and immediately report cases to DOH-Hillsborough.
Measles is a severe, highly contagious viral disease. Although it is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age. Generally, preschool children, adolescents, young adults and inadequately immunized individuals make up most of the measles cases in the United States.
Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing and is highly contagious. The symptoms of measles generally begin approximately seven to 14 days, but up to 21 days after a person is exposed to someone with measles. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough and rash. Anyone who has these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider. There is no specific treatment for measles.
The best way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases is by immunization. In Florida, children should be immunized against measles with the combination measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) and should receive two doses, with the first at 12 to 15 months of age and the second at four to six years of age.
Adults should be vaccinated with at least one dose of MMR vaccine, with a second dose recommended for those at higher risk such as international travelers and health care workers. People with underlying health conditions should discuss with their healthcare provider to determine the need for additional booster doses.
Vaccines are provided at no cost to babies, children and teens through the age of 18. Adults can receive the MMR vaccine at DOH-Hillsborough for $91. The fee health departments charge varies by county. In Hillsborough County, the DOH-Hillsborough immunization clinic is located at 8605 N. Mitchell Ave in Tampa, and accepts walk-in’s weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tampa Bay area county health departments:
- Citrus – (352) 527-0068
- Hardee – (863) 773-4161
- Hernando – (353) 540-6800
- Highlands – (863) 386-6040
- Hillsborough – (813) 307-8000
- Manatee – (941) 748-0747
- Pasco – (727) 619-0300
- Pinellas – (727) 824-6900
- Polk – (863) 519-7900
- Sarasota – (941) 861-2900