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Officials say unvaccinated Florida kids exposed to measles can skip quarantine

A recent communication, signed by Ladapo, underscores the contagiousness of measles, indicating that individuals can transmit the virus from four days before to four days after the onset of the rash. Although symptoms typically appear within 8 to 14 days after exposure, the disease can take up to 21 days to fully develop. Therefore, the standard quarantine duration for exposed and unvaccinated individuals, who are particularly vulnerable to measles, is 21 days.

The letter recommends that children refrain from attending school until March 7, 2024, considering the infectious period. However, it delegates the decision to parents or guardians, taking into account the community’s high immunity rate and the potential disruptions to families and education.

The measles outbreak originated when a third-grader, with no recent travel history, was diagnosed. Subsequently, three more cases emerged over the weekend, prompting a health advisory. Two additional cases were reported later. It remains unclear whether all six affected children are unvaccinated.

According to data, only 89.31% of the school’s students were vaccinated during the 2023/2024 school year, leaving approximately 114 students susceptible due to their vaccination status.

Measles spreads easily through respiratory transmission and can linger in the air for up to two hours. Unvaccinated individuals or those with compromised immune systems face a high risk of infection, with up to 90% becoming infected upon exposure. Full vaccination with two doses of the MMR vaccine is highly effective, providing 97% protection against measles.

Symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, red eyes, cough, and a distinctive rash. Approximately 1 in 5 unvaccinated individuals with measles require hospitalization, while 1 in 20 develop pneumonia, and up to 3 in 1,000 children succumb to the infection.

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