The Duval County Health Department recently confirmed its first case of measles in an unvaccinated child.
Health Department Medical Director, Doctor Pauline Rolle said about the only thing they know for sure is that the child is from Jacksonville.
“Home-grown, local person - and we’re still trying to figure out exactly where the disease was acquired. But we do know the child did not travel outside the country.”
Rolle said measles starts off like a very bad cold and progresses to a blotchy, non-itchy rash that develops from the head down.
Most people get through the illness with no permanent issues but there are no guarantees.
“It’s possible they could develop pneumonia and other complications that could result in death. Permanent hearing loss is also a risk with getting measles. In addition, there are folks who’ve gotten through measles and did just fine and then seven to 10 years later develop neurological symptoms which cause the brain to swell and which can result in death as well,” Rolle said.
Measles is included in the two-dose MMR vaccine given to children ages one-to-six.
Rolle says, currently, the measles vaccination rate in Duval County is nearly 99%.