Thanks For The Measles Exposure In A Florida Elementary School, Anti-Vaxxers

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Another day, another potential measles outbreak putting kids at risk. This time it’s happening at a public school in Southern Florida. According to TCPalm, the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie county has confirmed a measles diagnosis in an unvaccinated six-year-old at a local elementary school.

The Fairlawn Elementary student is currently under a doctor’s care and no longer attending school, but it’s possible several others at the school were exposed. Public health officials are working diligently to notify parents and limit any potential exposure throughout the community, including placing unvaccinated kids under quarantine.

According to Florida law, religious grounds or medical reasons may exempt students from immunizations. Other students at the school who have not been vaccinated due to such exemptions have been identified, district officials said. The Health Department is working to contact families of these students to notify them that their student may not attend school until the completion of an incubation period.

Measles symptoms usually begin seven to 14 days after exposure, so unvaccinated kids will have to wait at least that long before returning to class. In the meantime, County Health officials are encouraging anyone who remains unvaccinated to please get vaccinated immediately. They’re also encouraging anyone with symptoms to come forward, since vaccination is not 100% effective and the unvaccinated aren’t the only ones at risk.

This is a perfect example of why it’s so important that everyone who attends public school be immunized, provided they’re medically able. There’s no good reason this much time, energy, and resources needs to be used trying to contain a preventable illness. A war is raging in California right now about a bill that would eliminate personal-belief exemptions for vaccines, but when you look at things like this, there’s no question. Schools should not have sizable populations of unvaccinated kids. It’s just too big of a risk.

This is the first time a measles case has been confirmed in the area, and you can’t help but feel for the six-year-old who is suffering from such a serious, shitty illness right now. With luck, this won’t turn into a large scale outbreak and none of the possibly exposed kids will actually get sick. Oh, and also people will vaccinate their kids. Please. We’re begging you.

(Photo: Shutterstock)