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Press Release (4/18/15) DOH-Indian River: Two Measles Cases Confirmed in Indian River County

April 18, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        Contact:  Maureen Feaster
April 18, 2015                                        772-794-7472

~Vaccination provides the best protection for residents, visitors ~

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY-The Florida Department of Health has confirmed two cases of measles in two unvaccinated adults in Indian River County. The first case was internationally acquired, with the second case locally acquired in the same household.  Measles is a serious respiratory disease caused by a virus of the same name (Measles). The disease is highly contagious and can spread to others who are unvaccinated.

“It is very important to protect yourself, your family and community by getting vaccinated,” said Indian River County Health Department Administrator Miranda Hawker. “If you previously were vaccinated from measles or born before 1957, you are presumed to be immune. If you are unsure about your status, contact your health care provider.”

The department is working with community health care partners and encourages all residents and visitors who have not been immunized to get vaccinated immediately. Vaccinations are available through DOH-Indian River or your doctor’s office.

People who are particularly susceptible are pregnant woman, infants under the age of 12 months, and people who are immunocompromised. Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing and is highly contagious. When a person sneezes or coughs, droplets spray into the air. The virus can live on surfaces or in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed for up to two hours. It can be transmitted from four days before the rash becomes visible to four days after the rash appears. A typical case of measles begins with flu-like symptoms. The symptoms of measles generally begin approximately seven to 14 days after a person is exposed to someone with measles, and include the following:

  • Blotchy rash
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Feeling run down, achy (malaise)
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)

People who develop these symptoms should contact their health care provider right away.

Measles is very rare in countries and regions of the world that are able to keep vaccination coverage high. There are still sporadic cases of measles in the United States because unvaccinated visitors from other countries or unvaccinated U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected and spread measles to unvaccinated or unprotected persons.

Children should be immunized against measles with the combination measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR). Children should receive two doses, with the first at 12 to 15 months of age and the second at four to six years of age. When vaccinating adolescents and adults, two doses of MMR may be required. People with underlying health conditions should discuss additional booster doses with their health care provider to determine need.

For additional questions about measles, please visit or contact DOH-Indian River at 772-794-7472.


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