Advertisement
  1. Health

Four more cases of measles found in Pinellas County, bringing total to seven

A pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine, which is 99 percent effective at preventing measles. In Pinellas County, where seven cases of measles have been reported this month, health officials are urging people to make sure they are vaccinated. [Associated Press (2015)]
A pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine, which is 99 percent effective at preventing measles. In Pinellas County, where seven cases of measles have been reported this month, health officials are urging people to make sure they are vaccinated. [Associated Press (2015)]
Published Aug. 29, 2018

Four more people have come down with the measles, according to the Department of Health in Pinellas County, adding to three cases announced by officials earlier this month.

Before the first case was announced on Aug. 13, there had been no cases of measles in the county for 20 years. The total number of people infected now stands at seven. None of them had been vaccinated, the health department said.

Some were related to another infected person who had traveled internationally, one of the most common ways to contract the disease.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: In Pinellas, three cases of the measles revive concerns about those who don't vaccinate

Health officials conducted interviews at doctor's offices, schools and other places where people had come in contact with those who were initially infected. The four new cases were identified after the unvaccinated people were no longer contagious, said Maggie Hall, a spokeswoman with the health department.

The department's investigation will continue.

The disease had once been eradicated in the United States through immunizations, but as some groups have challenged the necessity and safety of routine vaccinations, it has returned in certain places.

Some parents believe there is a link between vaccinations and autism, contrary to prevailing scientific findings. Health officials strongly urge people to get vaccinated if they haven't been already.

"Our message continues to be that immunization is the best protection against diseases such as measles," said Dr. Ulyee Choe, an infectious disease specialist and director of the Department of Health in Pinellas.

"Measles is highly contagious and can have potentially serious health effects. We have not seen measles in 20 years in Pinellas because of the success of the safe, effective vaccines that prevents it."

Unvaccinated people who are exposed to measles may be excluded for up to 21 days from public places such as school and work where they could infect others, the department said.

Those infected with the disease will experience a fever that may spike to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. The blotchy red rash that is normally associated with the disease usually appears three to five days later.

More information about measles is available at the Florida Health Department website.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has invested $3 million in Bridge Connector, a Nashville-based medical technology company.
    Bridge Connector already had ties to Tampa. Its founder graduated from the University of South Florida.
  2. Florida's Baker Act was written in 1971 by Maxine Baker, a 65-year-old grandmother and a freshman Florida legislator from Miami-Dade County, seen here in a 1965 photo. [Associated Press]
    The law was written in 1971 by Maxine Baker, a legislator from Miami-Dade County who pushed for the rights of people with mental illness.
  3. Sarah Henderson with her son, Braden, who was committed under the Baker Act after a joking remark at school. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    A cop car comes. A child is handcuffed and taken to a mental health facility. The scene is all too frequent at public schools across the state.
  4. Congressional aides maneuver a Christmas tree to the office of Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, on Capitol Hill earlier this month. No word on whether they washed it first, but experts say hosing down a live tree can be a good way to keep allergens from causing respiratory problems during the holiday season. [J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE  |  AP]
    Hosing off a live tree or wiping off an artificial one are two ways to keep allergens at bay during the holidays.
  5. A helicopter lands at Tampa General Hospital, one of 66 Florida hospitals that could benefit from a proposal contained in Gov. Ron DeSantis' new budget, a new analysis finds. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Tampa General is among the hospitals that would receive money from a proposal seeking to hand out $10 million in new funding.
  6. Work nears completion Wednesday on a common area inside the new USF Health building that will serve as a centerpiece of the Water Street Tampa development in downtown. The 13-story tower is set to open in January. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    The long-anticipated building, part of Water Street Tampa, will welcome students on Jan. 13.
  7. One way to research options is through Medicare's online Plan Finder, available at medicare.gov/find-a-plan. [THOMAS TOBIN  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    For those who haven’t reviewed coverage for 2020, there is still time.
  8. North Tampa Behavioral Health in Wesley Chapel [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times]
    Regulators also found widespread problems with patient care after a Tampa Bay Times investigation into the facility
  9. Lorraine Bonner, a retired Oakland, Calif., doctor who is now a sculptor, says she spent a year recovering after surgical staples were used to seal her colon. A newly uncovered federal database reveals previously hidden problems with the staples that were used in her operation. [HEIDI DE MARCO  |  California Healthline]
    Millions of injuries and malfunctions once funneled to a hidden government database are now available, prompting many to take a closer look.
  10. Employees are paying more for health insurance. [MICHAEL MCCLOSKEY  |  iStockPhoto]
    Employees in only two other states paid more relative to their household income.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement