Measles case confirmed in Collier County

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NAPLES, Fla. — A rare diagnosis of measles has been made for an adult male in Collier County, the local office of the Florida Department of Health said.

It’s the first confirmed case in the area since 1997, a health department official said. Authorities are working to limit potential exposure to the public.

“We are actively investigating this,” said Terri Harder with the Florida Dept. of Health in Collier County. “We are reaching out and we are identifying people who are potential close contacts and contacting them to ensure that they are vaccinated or that they are receiving care from their physician.”

The disease is spread through the air when someone who’s infected breathes, coughs or sneezes.

“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 very rare in the U.S. and other countries with widespread vaccination coverage. Sporadic cases of measles still exist because visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad become infected while traveling.

It’s unclear how the unidentified Collier county man contracted the disease.

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