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Measles confirmed in unvaccinated child in Miami-Dade County

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Posted at 12:28 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 04:26:42-04

(NBC MIAMI) - With the debate continuing over child vaccinations across the country, Miami-Dade County announced the first local case of measles in an unvaccinated 8-year-old child.

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The announcement was made Tuesday by Florida Department of Health officials, saying the next step is to avoid potential exposure through the rest of the community where that child is located.

Officials said the child lives in the West Miami area, but would not say if they lived in that city specifically.

“Measles is a very serious disease. The best way to protect yourself and others against measles is to get vaccinated,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. Celeste Philip. “This case serves as a reminder for all residents to check their immunization records or contact their primary care provider's office to make sure they are up to date on the measles vaccine as well as all recommended vaccines."

The disease is rare in areas where there is plenty of the vaccine available, but has seen a rise in recent years as more and more parents have decided not to vaccinate their children.

The recommended immunity process includes one dose of the vaccine by 15 months and another between the ages of four and six.

In 2015, 189 people from 24 states and the District of Columbia reported having the measles. That number was actually down from 2014, when a record 667 cases were reported in 27 states.

Measles is traditional spread through breathing, coughing or sneezing. Symptoms including a mild to moderate fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a sore throat. Those seeking more information can check out FloridaHealth.org.

Courtesy of our news partner at NBC Miami