Latest Measles information from the FDOH-Polk

 Just released from Dr. Ulyee Choe, Director, Florida Department of Health in Polk County


Here is the most current information to share:

  • There are no confirmed cases of measles in Florida residents at this time.
  • The most effective form of protection from measles is through vaccination.
  • The Department of Health encourages families to help protect their children by making sure they have their children immunized against measles with the combination MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
  • Individuals who are seeking vaccination should first ask their primary care provider, as many insurance companies will cover the cost of the vaccine for adults and children.
  • The health department offers
    • FREE childhood immunizations through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.
    • MMR is available for adults born after 1957 and cost $73 dollars per dose (2 doses needed).
    • Insurance is accepted for vaccinations. If patients do not have insurance they will be sent a bill for the cost.
  • Children should receive two doses, with the first at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second at four to six years of age.
  • Measles vaccines are offered at our Haines City, Lakeland, Lake Wales, and Auburndale Clinics. Vaccines are also available at our Bartow Specialty Care Clinic.


Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing and is highly contagious. It can be transmitted from four days before the rash becomes visible to four days after the rash appears. The symptoms of measles generally begin approximately seven to 14 days after a person is exposed to someone with measles, and include the following.

  • Blotchy rash
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Feeling run down, achy (malaise)
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)

Anyone who has these symptoms should contact his or her healthcare provider.


Measles Control Made Easy: Stronger Laws Equal Less Disease

This is a great article!


This post originally appeared on The Network for Public Health Law on February 4, 2015. 

Virtually no other set of public health laws have had as direct an effect on health as immunization laws. Sbaby-with-rashtrong laws lead to high immunization rates, which in turn lead to lower incidences of disease. Some diseases have been nearly eradicated such as polio, rubella, and until recently, measles. However, keeping immunization rates high takes constant vigilance. Unfortunately over the past two decades there has been a weakening of immunization laws in many states. When immunization laws are weak, it puts the public’s health at risk.  For instance, while all states allow medical exemptions to vaccines, and many allow religious exemptions, there are 20 states that also allow non-medical exemptions, meaning that parents may opt-out of vaccines for any reason and their children may still attend public schools. For years, the public health community has…

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Welcome Karen G. Fowler – Area 7 Field Rep for Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, Osceola, Polk

Highlands County Immunization Task Force

We miss Leroy Dux as our Immunization Field Rep and appreciate CaSandra Mclain for carrying the torch.  And now, let us welcome Karen Fowler, Operations and Management Consultant I with the Immunization Program, as our new Immunization Field Representative for Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, Osceloa, and Polk County.  Karen can be reached at the Polk CHD in Bartow, 863-519-7900 ext. 11226.  Email

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What Is Meningitis, Anyway?

PKIDS not only gives great information through their blog, but their website is an awesome resource!

PKIDs Blog

At PKIDs, we help families affected by infectious diseases, and we work to educate ourselves and others about these diseases. Our goal is to prevent infections.

In 2015, we’re turning the spotlight on meningitis, or more accurately, meningococcal disease.

Meningitis is scary—and confusing. For instance, if I say that I have meningitis, it sounds like I’m saying I’m infected with a No More Meningitisgerm called meningitis. But, there is no germ called “meningitis.”

Adding to the confusion is the fact that we tend to use that term loosely for what should be called “meningococcal disease.”

Meningococcal disease causes meningitis, and it may also cause blood poisoning (septicemia).


Our brains and spinal cords are protected by three layers of tissues, one on top of the other, along with a thin river of fluid that runs between the middle and bottom layers. That river, the cerebrospinal fluid, helps the tissues…

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Giving MMR Vaccine Early To Protect Children Against Measles

This is an excellent post, especially for anyone concerned about the measles outbreak in California. The bottom line is seeking information from your local, trusted health providers.

Shot of Prevention

MeaslesAs the number of measles cases tied to the Disneyland outbreak continues to rise, parents are growing concerned about possible measles exposure in children who are not yet old enough to receive their first dose of MMR (measles, mumps rubella) vaccine.  The CDC recommendation is to administer the first dose of MMR between the ages of 12-15 months.  However, this recommendation leaves children under one year of age at risk, and so Abigail, like many other parents with young children, raised her concerns on our Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page by asking

Does anyone have information on giving the MMR vaccine early? My child is just 6 months old. We live in Southern California, a hotbed of the latest measles outbreak. We’re right in it…even our local grocery store was exposed. 

I’m a stay at home mom and he has no siblings, and at this point, we are not taking him…

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