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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida newspaper is reporting a measles case in Broward County.

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A Sun Sentinel article explained the person was exposed to the contagious disease while outside the United States.

This comes at a time when five states have issued alerts after outbreaks.

“If there’s one message I can tell people is that it’s easily preventable,” Dr. Bindu Mayi said.

Dr. Mayi is a microbiology professor at Nova Southeastern University. The doctor the MMR vaccine is 97% effective at preventing measles and it’s never too late to get the recommended two shots.

“In additional to that, proper cough etiquette, proper sneeze etiquette, good hand hygiene,” Mayi said.

Measles is a respiratory disease common outside the U.S. Someone who’s infected may have a fever, a cough, and a rash or spots all over the body including bumps inside of their mouth.

“But the period of contagion starts before the rash appears when you don’t even know you have measles,” Mayi said.

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People can easily be exposed by simply being in a room with someone who is infected.

“The virus can stick in airspace for two hours, so someone else can now come in and inhale that,” Mayi said.

Measles can be deadly. There’s no known medicine to cure an infected person but there is a treatment for the symptoms.

Last year, The Florida Department of Health recorded 15 residents and four visitors with measles. All of whom were not vaccinated. The state nearly 3,000 people were potentially exposed from those with measles in Florida.

In 2017, there were only three reported cases in the state. Friday, the state wouldn’t confirm or deny an active case to CBS 4 news. A spokesperson, however, sent a statement.
“The Florida Department of Health in Broward County encourages families to make sure they are up to date on their immunizations. Vaccination is the best way to protect against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Some parents across the nation have expressed concern and fear from about vaccinations. Mayi says she has gone through reports from researchers and told us her findings.

“There is no specific evidence that links MMR to autism,” the doctor said.

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For more information about measles, click here.