Florida county sees outbreak of measles at elementary school (2024)

State health officials in Florida are monitoring an outbreak of measles at a Broward County elementary school.

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On Tuesday afternoon another case of measles was detected at Manatee Bay Elementary School in Weston, Florida, bringing the total to six.

Weston is 22 miles west of Fort Lauderdale.

School officials said 200 students didn’t show up for class Tuesday, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

“We are not allowed to keep children from coming to school. But if the state feels that’s in the best interest, they’ll deem that as a state of emergency for the school and be able to keep students that are not vaccinated from the school, but that’s their decision. We don’t have that authority,” Superintendent Dr. Peter Licata said.

No emergency order has been issued by the Florida Department of Health.

The department has identified close contacts to those with the virus, according to CBS News and is carrying out an epidemiological investigation surrounding the multiple cases of measles at the school.

On Friday, Broward County Public School District in cooperation with local health officials held a vaccination event at Manatee Bay and on Sunday, a second vaccination event was held off-site for students throughout the same school zone, the Sun-Sentinel reported. On Wednesday, the school district is holding a third.

“Please note all details regarding the investigation are confidential,” the agency stated. “DOH-Broward is continuously working with all partners including Broward County Public Schools and local hospitals to identify contacts that are at risk of transmission.”

The school district ordered new air filters for the school and every surface to be cleaned by a special machine used during COVID-19, according to ABC News.

A local hospital, Memorial Healthcare, said it has seen more than 50 children with symptoms or who are at high risk of contracting the disease, according to CBS.

Doctors are urging parents not to bring children with symptoms to the emergency room unless they are in danger. Instead, doctors say to call a pediatrician first.

“This really has been confined to that particular area and I know people have come through the hospital but there have not been confirmed cases, just people coming in concerned,” school board member Debbie Hixon said.

According to the school district, Manatee Bay has nearly 1,100 students, and 86 of them are not vaccinated against measles, CBS reported. Measles is highly contagious and can remain infectious in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours, with a greater than 90% contraction rate among susceptible contacts, including those who are immunocompromised or have not received the full series of MMR vaccinations, according to

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that as of Feb. 15, 2024, there have been a total of 20 measles cases reported by these 10 states and one city: Arizona, California, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York City, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms generally begin about eight to 14 hours after exposure, according to the CDC.

A rash appears 3 to 5 days after the first symptoms. Transmission is possible four days before the rash becomes visible and four days after it appears.

The most prominent symptom of measles is the rash that develops on the face and neck, which can spread to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit.

Other symptoms of measles include:

  • A high fever.
  • A cough.
  • A runny nose.
  • Red, watery eyes.
  • Tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth two to three days after symptoms begin.

The CDC considers you protected from measles if you have one of the following:

You received two doses of measles-containing vaccine, and you are:

  • A school-aged child (grades K-12)
  • An adult who will be in a setting that poses a high risk for measles transmission, including students at post-high school education institutions, healthcare personnel, and international travelers.

You received one dose of measles-containing vaccine, and you are:

  • A preschool-aged child
  • An adult who will not be in a high-risk setting for measles transmission.
  • A laboratory confirmed that you had measles at some point in your life.
  • A laboratory confirmed that you are immune to measles.
  • You were born before 1957.

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© 2024 Cox Media Group

Florida county sees outbreak of measles at elementary school (2024)


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