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Measles Patient Visited Kissimmee, Sarasota, South FL

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed a measles case in Central Florida.

The measles was diagnosed in an international traveler who stayed at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee March 16 and March 17.

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The unidentified traveler spent most of the time in Osceola County, but also visited Miami-Dade, Orange and Sarasota Counties while contagious.

The patient did not attend any theme parks, state health officials said, although there was no initial count of how many people may have been exposed. The traveler was treated in Miami and flew home.

Tiffany Cowie, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health, said the test didn’t come back as positive until yesterday.

“We are working actively to reach out to anyone who into contact at the conference,” Cowie said.

Cowie said the hospital suspected measles and isolated the patient in the hospital. The patient was attending the Enterprise Connect conference, an IT conference.

A multi-state Measles outbreak started in December in Disneyland in California and sickened 146 people in seven states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Measles is a potentially deadly, highly contagious disease, but there is a vaccine.

It’s the first measles case in Florida this year.

Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.
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