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Measles Blooms in Florida Schools Where 11% of Students Were Unvaccinated!


CNS NewsHealth officials in Florida are scrambling to contain a measles outbreak at an elementary school in the Fort Lauderdale area, where 11% of the children remain unvaccinated. The outbreak, centered at Manatee Bay Elementary School in Weston, has raised concerns among health experts about the potential for similar incidents as vaccination rates slip across the nation.

According to reports from Broward County Public School, the outbreak began with a confirmed case in a third-grade student who had not recently traveled. Subsequently, three additional cases were reported at the same school, bringing the total to four confirmed cases.

The Florida Department of Health in Broward County has initiated an investigation to track contacts at risk of infection. With over 100 students potentially at risk due to their vaccination status, health authorities are on high alert.

The vaccination rate at Manatee Bay Elementary School for the 2023/2024 school year was reported at 89.31%, significantly lower than the recommended target of 95%. This leaves up to 114 students vulnerable to the infection out of the 1,067 enrolled.

Measles, known as one of the most contagious viruses, spreads rapidly through respiratory and airborne transmission. The virus can linger in the air for up to two hours, making unvaccinated individuals or those with compromised immune systems highly susceptible. Symptoms typically appear 8 to 14 days after exposure and can include high fever, runny nose, cough, and a characteristic rash.

Complications can be severe, with up to 1 in 5 unvaccinated individuals requiring hospitalization, and a small percentage facing life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia or death. While those who are fully vaccinated against measles are generally not at risk, slipping vaccination rates across the country poses a significant challenge.

The threat of large outbreaks is increasing, especially when cases are imported from countries where the virus is still prevalent. The importance of maintaining vaccination coverage of 95% or higher cannot be overstated in preventing ongoing transmission.

Measles Blooms in Florida Schools Where 11% of Students Were Unvaccinated!

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In light of the outbreak, the Florida Department of Health in Broward County is actively identifying susceptible contacts for post-exposure prophylaxis through vaccination or immunoglobulin treatment. It serves as a stark reminder of the critical role vaccination plays in safeguarding public health.

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