New measles case confirmed in Florida, in an adult who traveled outside the US

A new case of measles has been confirmed in Florida, in an adult between the ages of 55 and 59 who had traveled outside the United States.

That brings the 2024 case count in the state up to 11, according to information posted on the Florida Department of Health reportable diseases searchable database.

The bulk of the cases — seven — were found at an elementary school in Broward County in February, and were the result of local transmission. Two additional cases were reported in Broward, and the other in Polk County in Central Florida, also in February. The newest case was reported in Martin County.

Broward County Public Schools notified parents of the first confirmed case of the highly contagious infection on Feb. 16, a third-grader at Manatee Bay Elementary in Weston who had no history of travel. Superintendent Peter Licata told reporters on Feb. 27 that the number of confirmed cases at the school had reached seven but that the person had not been on campus since Feb. 15. On March 8, after the end of the infectious period, the Department of Health confirmed that the outbreak was over.

A total of 64 measles cases have been reported in the United States as of March 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the 17 states reporting the cases are Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York City, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. In 2023, a total of 58 measles cases were reported in 20 states, CDC records show.

International travel is a typical way for unvaccinated people in the United States to get the disease; most Americans are protected against measles through vaccination, and the disease was considered eradicated from the country in 2000, according to the CDC.

The disease is highly infectious: Nine out of 10 unvaccinated people will catch it if exposed. It can be prevented through vaccination; according to the CDC, two doses of the measles vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles if one is exposed to the virus. One dose is about 93% effective.