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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While rare in South Florida, a confirmed case of measles has been detected in a child in Miami-Dade.

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The state’s Department of Health in Miami-Dade County has confirmed a case in a child who was not vaccinated. Health officials said they are working to limit the exposure and make sure it doesn’t spread.

A typical case of the measles begins with a mild fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and sore throat. Because it’s airborne, health officials say, it can spread very quickly through coughing, sneezing or simply breathing.

“The most outstanding symptom is a rash that appears on the face, spreads to the back and then to the arms and legs.,” said Alvaro Mejia-Echeverry with the health department.

Complications include diarrhea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration.

Although kids have to have their immunizations before being enrolled in school, one child in Miami-Dade County did get through.

The health department estimates about a 100 others could have come into contact with this student.

“We have a child that was recently diagnosed with measles and several people in the population out there were exposed to this child,” said Mejia-Echeverry.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesman John Schuster released the following statement:

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“The Miami-Dade County Health Department has informed us that other students were not at risk in this case, but this serves as a good reminder for parents to keep their children’s vaccinations up to date.”

The best way to protect yourself and others against a measles outbreak is to get vaccinated.

“I’d be upset. I’d definitely be upset,” said Anthony Dean of Miami Beach. “I think they should separate them and check them, separate them before they get to class and make sure.”

Some are parents who are against the vaccination are about to get an exemption claiming religious beliefs. They fill out a special form from the health department which basically says immunizations are in conflict with their religious practices.
It must also be signed by the parent and school administrator.

But while some say religious freedoms are important, when it comes to something like this health officials say say no exceptions should be made.

“If your kid is exposed, you shouldn’t be taking your kid to expose another kid. So definitely they should stay at home, ” said Jessica Hernandez of Miami Springs.

The measles can be extremely dangerous to pregnant women too. It can cause a miscarriage, stillbirth, or a premature birth.

“Those kids, they don’t know nothing,” said Alejandro Chacon of Westchester. “They’re just in this world starting their first few steps – their baby steps. They need those vaccinations and if those parents don’t want to give it to them, that’s sad.”

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The health department isn’t saying what school the infected student attended – only that other students and their parents were notified. Health officials say they need to wait out the 21 day incubation period, which ends in a couple of weeks, before they are confident no one else was exposed.