SARASOTA (WWSB) -The Centers for Disease Control reports that 2019 so far has the second largest number of cases of the measles in the United States since the year 2000.
The CDC reports that from January to March of 2019 there has been 387 measles cases in the U.S. In 2000, the CDC said that measles was eliminated from the country because people were immune to it from vaccinations. Since then, the year 2014 had the highest number of outbreaks, with 667 cases reported in the U.S.
The Director of Infection Control at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Cindy Jeffries, said the high number of cases throughout the country could be because people travel around the world more often and because people are unvaccinated.
Measles starts with a cough, runny nose, high fever, then a rash starts up at the top of your head and travels down to you feet. The disease can even cause death.
Measles is still common in parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific because many people aren't vaccinated there. With Americans having the ability to travel easily, people often bring measles back to the states.
"It's an airborne disease so it's spread through breathing through the air it can be in coughs or sneezes by direct droplets hitting your eyes, nose, and mouth and then you can get sick with it that way, that's how it's spread. But it's very contagious. Nine out of ten people will get it from standing in a room with someone that has measles and it will linger in that room for up to two hours," Jeffries said.
Some people don't choose to get measles vaccinations because of religious reasons or because they don't believe it is safe. But, health professionals say it's important to do so and it has been disproven that getting vaccinated is harmful and causes diseases like Autism.
There hasn’t been any reported cases of measles this year in Florida, but in December of 2018 there were four cases reported in Sarasota County.