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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD)

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Measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, varicella, pneumococcal disease, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, meningococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) are all preventable by vaccine.  These common childhood and adult diseases are highly contagious and are particularly dangerous to very young children who have relatively low resistance to infection and more prone to develop serious complications such as deafness, retardation, brain and spinal cord damage and, occasionally, death.

Florida has a very strong and successful immunization program.  Without assurance of high immunization levels, visitors and Floridians would not be able to enjoy the high quality of life the state offers.  Currently, the maintenance of high immunization levels contributes positively to the state’s economy by lower disease incidence, lower healthcare costs and ensuring travelers may confidently visit Florida without contracting a vaccine-preventable disease.

The program ensures a cause and effect response by monitoring immunization levels in vulnerable populations throughout the state, thereby contributing to strategies to attain and sustain high immunization levels.  This has the effect of increasing herd immunity and lowering vaccine-preventable disease rates.

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Vaccine-Preventable Disease Surveillance Report October 2018

Pertussis

This image shows that pertussis activity increased from last month. 30 cases and no outbreaks were reported. The image also shows a representation of case counts between November 2017 and October 2018.
  • Pertussis activity increased from last month. Overall, the total number of cases remained below the previous 5-year average.
  • 30 cases and one outbreak were reported.
  • Incidence remained highest among infants <1 year old. Infants <2 months old are too young to receive vaccinations against pertussis, which is why vaccination of other age groups is so important to help prevent infection in this highly vulnerable group.

Varicella

This image shows that varicella activity decreased from last month. 50 cases and no outbreaks were reported. The image also shows a representation of case counts between November 2017 and October 2018.
  • Varicella activity decreased from last month and was slightly above the previous 5-year average.
  • 50 cases and one outbreak were reported.
  • Incidence was highest among infants <1 year old.
  • 40% of cases were never vaccinated for varicella.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A activity increased from last month. 86 cases were reported in October. The image also shows a representation of case counts between November 2017 and October 2018.
  • Hepatitis A activity increased from last month and has been above the previous 5-year average since April 2018.
  • 86 cases were reported in October.
  • Incidence was highest among adults 30-49 years old. Cases were primarily among men and persons who identify as non-Hispanic white.
  • Non-injection and injection drug use were the most commonly reported risk factors.

For all vaccine-preventable diseases, timely and complete vaccination is the best way to prevent infection. Although vaccinated individuals can still become infected with diseases like pertussis or varicella, in general, those who have received at least 1 dose of vaccine have less severe outcomes than those who have never been vaccinated for the disease.

The number of new REs is increasing each month. Statewide, the estimated prevalence of REs among children age 4 to18 years old is 2.9% with individual counties ranging from 0.3% to 6.5%. In September 2017, the statewide prevalence was 2.5%, and the prevalence has gradually increased each month since. Counties with a prevalence rate between 0.3% and 1.0% are: Washington, Jackson, Calhoun, Liberty, Gadsden, Jackson, Madison, Hamilton, Taylor, Lafayette, Dixie, Levy, Gilchrist, Hardee, Glades and Hendry. Counties with a prevalence rate between 1.1% and 2.3% are: Holmes, Gulf, Franklin, Wakulla, Leon, Jefferson, Suwannee, Baker, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, Lake, Polk, Highlands, Desoto and Miami-Dade. Counties with a prevalence rate between 2.4% and 3.4% are: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Bay, Duval, Clay, Marion, Citrus, Pasco, Orange, Osceola, St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Broward, Charlotte, Sarasota, Hillsborough, Indian River, and Pasco. Counties with a prevalence rate between 3.5% and 6.5% Okaloosa, Walton, Columbia, Alachua, St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia, Brevard, Seminole, Martin, Pinellas, Sarasota, Lee, Collier and Monroe.

Unvaccinated children are at increased risk of vaccine-preventable diseases like pertussis and varicella. Communities with a higher proportion of religious exemptions (REs) to vaccination are at increased risk of vaccine-preventable disease transmission.

The proportion of children ages 4-18 years with new REs is increasing each month. Statewide, the estimated prevalence of REs among children age 4 to18 years old is 2.9% with individual counties ranging from 0.3% to 6.6%. In October 2017, the statewide prevalence was 2.5%, and the prevalence has gradually increased each month since.

To learn more about REs at the local level, please visit www.flhealth.gov/REmap.

All REs are required to be entered into Florida SHOTS (State Health Online Tracking System), Florida’s statewide immunization registry. The map above includes REs registered in Florida SHOTS through September 30, 2018.

For more information please read the full report.

 

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