The Florida Department of Heath in Hillsborough County is investigating a measles case in a man who recently traveled to South America.
Although it is usually considered a childhood disease, measles can be contracted at any age. Children are the most at risk of developing serious symptoms. The virus is highly contagious and spread in the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough and a rash.
The virus was once eradicated in the U.S., thanks to immunizations, but a recent shift in views against routine vaccinations by some parent groups has contributed to its return.
Health officials say the best way to protect against measles is by immunization. In Florida, children should be immunized against measles with two doses of the vaccine at 12-to-15 months of age and the second at 4-to-6 years.
The health department provides vaccines at no cost to babies and children through age 18. Adults can receive the vaccine for $91.
In 2018, Pinellas County reported three cases of measles — the first the county had seen in 20 years.