Florida had four confirmed cases of the measles in May. Two cases involved Florida residents who had traveled abroad but hadn’t had a measles vaccine. The other two cases, according to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), involved people who traveled to Florida even though they were ill.
This is not the first time we’ve had an outbreak. In 2013, four Florida siblings who hadn’t been vaccinated developed the measles. In the recent past, the number of measles cases in Florida has fluctuated from zero to eight. The worst recent year nationwide, according to the CDC, was 2014 when 667 cases were reported.
Public health officials say that the number of measles cases is increasing abroad and in the United States. The main cause is international travelers bringing the disease into America. The Sun-Sentinel quotes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as saying that if your measles vaccine is not up-to-date, you risk getting the disease if you travel abroad. Doctors who fail to advise patients about which vaccines are needed for foreign trial may be liable if their medical error results in the patient getting a preventable disease.
You should be vaccinated for measles
The Florida DOH continually urges everyone in Florida to make sure they and their children have up-to-date vaccinations. Anyone who is travelling out of the country should review what vaccines they and their children should get with their doctor or the child’s pediatrician.
There are two different measles vaccine doses. One dose is for toddlers between 12 and 15 months old. The other dose is generally given to children between four and six years-of-age. Children should be vaccinated before they start the first grade. Florida residents who get the measles vaccine are usually also vaccinated for mumps and rubella.
According to Florida Hospital Centra Care’s medical director, the measles vaccine is very effective. The United States actually announced in 2000 that measles had been eliminated. The outbreaks that have occurred since 2000 have been due to people who don’t get the vaccination.
Getting the vaccine does more than just protect the child who gets the vaccine. Being vaccinated helps protect other children and the general public, because the disease is extremely contagious. Measles is a virus that survives in a person’s nose and throat. Symptoms include:
- A runny nose
- High fever
- Eyes that are red and watery
- A rash that can be seen in the face and mouth first, and then spreads
The treatment is mainly to let the virus runs its course and try to address the symptoms. Most children and adults who get the measles recover. Some people develop complications, especially children under five and adults over the age of 20. In the worst cases, measles can result in encephalitis and pneumonia according to the medical director for Centra Care.
If you or a loved one developed the measles because you were not informed about vaccinations, or developed complications due to poor medical care, you may have a claim for compensation. The respected Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice lawyers at Yeboah Law Group can advise you about your legal rights. To schedule an appointment, please call us at (800) TELL-SAM or fill out our contact form.