Florida measles outbreak: Unvaccinated kids allowed at school, defying CDC guidelines

ByTed Scouten, CNNWire
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Florida measles outbreak: Unvaccinated kids allowed at school
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has called for the removal of Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo amid Manatee Bay measles outbreak.

WESTON, Fla. -- Parents at a Florida elementary school learned there are now seven cases of measles at the school.

"It makes me a little concerned," said parent Demi Cavanaugh. "So my daughter's fully vaccinated. My son can't get his second one until he is 4 and he is high risk for a lot of other issues."

She is worried.

"It's so easily transmitted that it's scary how fast it's going up," she said.

In all, there are now nine confirmed cases of measles in Broward, which includes seven at Manatee Bay and two others in the community.

"The individual impacted by this latest case has not physically been on campus since February 15th, therefore the infectious period of 21 days remains unchanged, March 7th," said Broward School Superintendent Dr. Peter Licata.

Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz represents Weston, Florida in Congress and lives there.

She's calling for the removal of state Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo.

"Surgeon General Ladapo is a misinformation super spreader," she said. "I'm calling for his immediate termination."

SEE ALSO: Why are measles cases popping up across the US? What to know about the highly contagious virus

Ladapo has made controversial comments about vaccines in the past.

He sent a letter to Manatee Bay parents permitting them to send unvaccinated children to school amid the outbreak, by "deferring the decision to keep children home from school to parents or guardians."

His letter contradicts advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and doctors.

"This dangerous MAGA policy is what's led the highest ranking health official in our state to issue measles outbreak guidance that did not declare an emergency, did not discuss, recommend or require vaccinations and did not require quarantining potentially exposed children," Wasserman-Schultz said.

Dr. Mary Jo Trepka is the chair of epidemiology at Florida International University. Standing with Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz, she recommended getting kids vaccinated, warning of potential danger.

"Measles is a very serious disease that causes hospitalization on average in about one in five people, brain damage in one in 1,000 people and death in one in 1,000 people," she said.

According to the school district, 33 students at Manatee Bay Elementary remain unvaccinated.

WFOR reached out to the Surgeon General's office as well as Governor DeSantis but have not heard back.

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