Measles confirmed in unvaccinated child in Miami sparks concerns, debate
MIAMI (CBS12) —
Miami Dade County has a confirmed case of the measles. Health officials say a child who was never vaccinated caught the virus.
The measles is highly contagious among children, so the concern right now is how many others may have come in contact with the patient.
State health officials say the child got the measles when school was still in session-- since then, school has let out for the summer, but some doctors say its likely more cases will pop up.
"Yes, unfortunately because the symptoms and signs are so subtle, by the time we notice.. say 3 4 or 5 days into the disease ...that's when the rash starts ...in that time the child might've exposed other children at the playground at the movie theater- so you really don't know." Dr. Jamie Marchand said.
Marchand is a pediatrician with Palm Beach Children's Hospital. Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Marchand has treated children from Latin American countries that do not have access to the vaccines like we do in the United States. He has seen the measles. And he is troubled by the news its in America.
"It is not a horrible disease, but it's a little bit concerning because it's a virus ... It goes away by itself, but there can be complications, there can be encephalitis, pneumonia." Marchand said.
Dr. Marchand says it's also unusual to see the measles in the summertime, usually the Measles is spread in the winter. Additionally, in recent years, there's been a movement of parents who opt not to have their children vaccinated ---for fear the vaccines can cause other medical complications.
Last year, more than 100 people got the measles which was traced to Disneyland in California. Many who fell ill from the theme park were not vaccinated.
CBS 12 asked Dr. Marchand if there is a cut off age for a measles vaccination-- and he says "no" -- even adults can get the shots.
"So it's never too late , especially in the United States where we have so much available medical care."
National health officials say Arizona is also dealing with an outbreak of the measles right now. About two dozen people, but they are inmates in a detention center.