Florida warns of measles danger

Public health officials in Florida are urging residents to get vaccinated against the measles after seeing the number of confirmed cases in the state rise to their highest total in nearly 15 years.

Out of this year’s seven cases, all but one involved children between the ages one of 16 who were not vaccinated against the disease, which can cause life-threatening complications, according to TampaBay.com.

Most of the cases have been linked to travel, both internationally and within the United States, where an unusually high number of cases have been reported.

Recent measles outbreaks in the United States have caused concern among national public health experts. The health department reported that the U.S. had about 58 cases of the measles on average annually from 2001 to 2008. Between January 1 and May 20, however, there have been 118 confirmed cases of the illness, TampaBay.com reports. Ninety percent of the cases were in people who had not received the measles vaccination.

Measles symptoms can include fever, cough, runny nose, and red and watery eyes. Symptoms usually appear eight to 12 days after exposure to the virus. A rash generally appears in measles cases, but not until several days after the initial symptoms.

Measles infection is spread through contact with droplets from the nose, mouth or throat. Sneezing or coughing propels the droplets into the air, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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