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What you need to know: Hillsborough epidemiologist talks measles, hep A

Local News

Recent headlines about health concerns can be scary for parents to see. 

A measles outbreak across the United States has infected hundreds of people. Here in the Tampa Bay area, hepatitis A is running rampant as more restaurant workers are diagnosed.

It’s enough to make you wonder how you can protect you and your family from these highly contagious viruses. 

Mike Wiese, an epidemiologist with the Hillsborough County Health Department, tells News Channel 8 the best way to protect yourself and your family against measles is to make sure you’re vaccinated.

“People that are fully vaccinated…are really at a very, very low risk of getting sick themselves,” Wiese said. “It’s a very good vaccine at protecting you from getting sick.”

So what about all the recent hep A scares at Tampa Bay area restaurants?

“Hepatitis A spreads in a very specific way – it’s that fecal-oral route, when you accidentally eat poop basically,” Wiese explained. “Good hand hygiene, good washing of your hands and making sure that you’re taking those precautions will really prevent you from getting sick with hepatitis A.”

Wiese also joined us on WFLA Now to debunk some of the myths surrounding vaccines.

“The thing you might hear about the most with vaccines is that somehow it’s associated with autism. And there’s been no single statement that’s probably been debunked more times than that,” Wiese told us. “There’s tons of literature now that supports giving the vaccine. It’s completely safe, it’s really effective and it’s really the best way to keep you safe. There’s no correlation between vaccines and autism.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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