PINELLAS COUNTY- A nationwide measles outbreak gets closer to the Suncoast with three confirmed cases in Pinellas County.
The disease all but eradicated in the U.S. is making a comeback.
“It can when it happens,” Dr. Vega said. “It usually happens with people who are unvaccinated, we’ve had the vaccine for many years but there are more and more people, especially children who do not get vaccinated.”
Medical Director for CAN Community Health Dr. Vilma Vega says there are symptoms to be on the lookout for.
“You can have a high-fever when your exposed,” Dr. Vega said. “A fever up to 105, you can have chills, you can have a rash that develops that usually starts in the face, moves in the trunk in the body and then in the arms.”
2 out of every 1000 children that get the virus can die from the disease.
“And can get some very major complications,” Dr. Vega said. “Such as encephalitis which is an infection in the brain, other neurological problems, and also pneumonia and much more severe complications that could lead to death.”
Those most at risk for complications should take extra precautions.
“Children less than 5 years of age,” Dr. Vega said. “The adults anywhere 20 years and above are at high risk of complications and then of course the immunocompromised patients, any patient with cancer or HIV, or any other immune –suppressed condition.”
The Health Department is working to identify and notify people who were potentially exposed to the virus.
“And are there more people that could be at risk, yes,” Dr. Vega said. “Do I suspect that more cases will happen, probably.”
Health Departments in Sarasota and Manatee Counties confirmed there are no cases of the measles on the Suncoast, but the Manatee Health Department is asking people to check with their doctors and make sure there vaccines are up to date.
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