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CDC official urges parents to get measles vaccine for children

 Measles is a highly contagious illness that can cause serious health problems, including brain damage, deafness and, in rare cases, death. Vaccination can prevent measles infections.
AP
Measles is a highly contagious illness that can cause serious health problems, including brain damage, deafness and, in rare cases, death. Vaccination can prevent measles infections.

The cases are mostly linked to international travel. And because Florida is a major tourism and travel hub, health officials are imploring adults to ensure their kids receive the two-dose vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting 16 measles cases nationally through June 8 – up from 3 at the same point in 2022.

The extremely contagious disease is caused by an airborne virus and largely affects unvaccinated children.

The cases are mostly linked to international travel. And because Florida is a major tourism and travel hub, public health officials are imploring adults to ensure their kids receive the two-dose vaccination.

“Certain children, because they’re immune compromised, can’t receive the MMR vaccine. It’s a live vaccine. And so to protect them, then it’s essential that all those that can be vaccinated are” says Dr. David Sugarman, who leads the CDC’s measles team.

Measles can be prevented with the two-dose MMR vaccine, which also protects against mumps and rubella.

The CDC recommends the first dose for ages 12 to 15 months and the second shot for ages 4 to 6 years (There is a different recommendation for children who have traveled internationally.)

Measles usually starts with a prolonged high fever and can lead to brain swelling, blindness and even death.

According to the CDC, measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Each year, an estimated 128,000 people die from measles.

Copyright 2023 Health News Florida

Verónica Zaragovia - WLRN