Florida College Isolating Under-Vaccinated Students

Florida Health Department determined isolating Florida College students without measles immunization is the best course of action

student reading a book by herself

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County (DOH-Hillsborough) announced it is investigating a measles case in an adult male, with recent international travel to South America.

Measles outbreaks have been reported in various South American countries, such as Brazil and Venezuela.   

On January 22, 2020, the DOH-Hillsborough wrote a letter addressed to students and staff at Florida College informing the school that students may have been exposed to the measles virus between 1/13/2020-1/15/2020.

This letter said ‘please monitor yourself for illness until February 5th, 2020.’

Furthermore, ‘the best way to prevent the spread of measles is to insure full vaccine coverage in our (Tampa, FL) community. Please check with your healthcare provider to verify you are up to date on your measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccinations.’

And, ‘if you come down with a fever and cough or rash, please call your medical provider and the Florida DOH-Hillsborough prior to going into the office to explain the possibility of measles exposure.’

In response to this DOH-Hilsbourigh letter, Florida College announced on January 24th that it is taking the necessary precautions recommended to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff, community, and guests.

Florida College published this action plan.

  • The Florida Health Department has determined that isolating students who do not have proof of immunization is the best course of action to avoid further exposure to the measles virus. 
  • All events related to the Florida College Lectures (February 2–6) and Parent Weekend (January 30–February 1) schedule are now canceled.
  • Information about the Sacred Selection 5K, athletic events, and spring musical will be forthcoming.

These measures are important since the measles virus is spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing and is highly contagious. 

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And the symptoms of measles generally begin approximately 7 to 21 days after a person is exposed to someone with measles.

Florida’s DOH said ‘they have also determined that students who have proof of immunization may come and go as usual.’

Recently, a Pew Research Center survey found public attitudes about the MMR vaccine remain broadly positive in the USA.

Published on January 7, 2020, this Pew survey found 88 percent of adults say the benefits of the MMR vaccine outweigh the risks, which is about the same percent as when Pew measured in 2016.

And, this Pew survey found a majority of the American public (82%) supports required MMR vaccination for public school attendance.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says measles can be prevented with 2-doses of the MMR-II vaccine.

Moreover, in cases related to international travel, such as the Florida College situation, the CDC says ‘if you are not sure of your measles immunization, see your healthcare provider at least 1-month before your scheduled departure.

Measles vaccine news published by Precision Vaccinations