Tampa Bay health officials remind public of importance of vaccinations amid measles case

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TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla (WFLA) – A case of measles was reported at a small private college in Temple Terrace last week.

Officials with the Florida Department of Health are using that case to remind the public of the importance of staying up to date on vaccinations.

Although only three cases were reported last year, none of those three people were vaccinated.

Measles cases in Florida

Here’s a look at the current the Bay area’s current death row population and where they come from. Hover over the bar to see the exact number.

Source: Florida Department of Health

According to the Department of Health, a total of 528 people had possible exposure to only one of the measles cases reported in October.

Hillsborough County became central to the spread of the disease over the past few years. Because of this, the University of South Florida College of Public Health launched the simulator to demonstrate herd immunity — the idea that when enough people are vaccinated against a disease, the germs can’t travel as easily between people. They say that makes it so the entire community is less likely to get the disease.

The model, developed last year, used school vaccination data for Florida. USF’s public health researchers were able to represent the infection risks by individual schools.

“I have to tell you it was actually pretty scary doing Texas and Florida [simulations,]” said Dr. Mark Roberts, director of the University of Pittsburgh Public Health Dynamics Lab. “There are schools in each one of those states that have vaccination rates down in the 40 percent range.”

Nationally, nearly 1,300 measles cases were reported in 2019. That’s more than three times the number of cases in 2018.

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed that there is only one case of measles reported across the state.

Vaccines are available at any Florida Department of Health locations and cost $91 for adults. They are free for people 18 years old and younger.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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