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A sixth measles case was confirmed at a Broward school amid vaccination concerns

Manatee Bay Elementary School in Weston.
Broward County School District
The Broward school district said it conducted a deep cleaning of Manatee Bay Elementary in Weston over the weekend and replaced its air filters after the first measles case was reported Friday, Feb. 16, 2024.

So far, it’s not known whether the students who acquired the highly contagious virus at Manatee Bay Elementary were immunized with the two-dose MMR vaccine.

The Broward County School District on Tuesday reported another case of measles at a Weston elementary school, bringing the total number of infected children to six.

The district said it expects further guidance from the Florida Department of Health, which said it is investigating the outbreak at Manatee Bay Elementary.

So far, it’s not known whether the students who acquired the highly contagious disease received the two-dose MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) immunization.

Florida health officials have warned that vaccination rates among children have dropped in recent years, with more parents opting their kids out.

Dr. Lisa Gwynn, who specializes in community pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, told WTVJ-TV in Miami that health officials are struggling to get kids immunized.

"It's all preventable," Gwynn said. "And the measles vaccine has been around for a long time. And it's very safe and effective. So, the fact that we are still seeing this in modern times is really unfortunate."

Measles is a highly contagious virus that can lead to complications including brain damage, deafness and, in rare cases, death, according to health officials.

Health department officials said anyone who has received the full series of MMR shots (measles, mumps, rubella) is 98% protected. People who are unvaccinated or have compromised immune systems are most at risk.

The health department said it has issued an measles health advisory and was working with the district and local hospitals to identify contacts at risk of transmission. Those people may be candidates for post-exposure treatments.

The most prominent symptom of measles is a rash on the face and neck that can spread to the rest of the body. Prior to the rash, symptoms can include high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.

If you notice any of symptoms, contact your health care provider to receive instructions on how to safely seek medical attention without exposing other patients, health officials said. Do not abruptly visit a provider without contacting them ahead of time.