Florida Department of Health: Measles Confirmed in Unvaccinated Child in St. Lucie County

The case was confirmed in the 6-year-old Wednesday, officials said. The department is encouraging everyone who has not been immunized to get vaccinated immediately.

According to the Florida Department of Health, a 6-year-old student at Fairlawn Elementary School in Fort Pierce has contracted the disease. The child had not been vaccinated.

The health department is working with the school district to keep the disease from spreading.

According to the Florida State Statute (1003.22), religious grounds or medical reasons may exempt students from immunizations, the St. Lucie County School District said in a statement.

The district said it has identified other students at the school who have not been vaccinated due to state-approved exemptions and says the Health Department is working to contact families of those students and explain that their student may not attend school until the completion of an incubation period.

The school district says the student with measles is under a doctor’s care and not in school.

“Local and state agencies will work together to investigate, locate and isolate the source,” according to Kerry Padrick with St. Lucie County Public Schools .

Measles is highly contagious and can spread to others who are unvaccinated.

It is spread by someone with measles sneezing or coughing into the air. Those particles stay in the air and can infect others.

“I encourage all residents and visitors to protect themselves, their families and their communities by getting vaccinated,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Measles is a very serious disease, yet thankfully, we have a safe and proven method to prevent measles through vaccination.”

A typical case of measles begins with a fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat followed by a rash.

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.