Measles outbreak at Broward elementary school is officially over, school district says

A measles outbreak at a Broward elementary school is officially over, the school district confirmed Friday.

The 21-day infectious period at Manatee Bay Elementary, 19200 Manatee Isles Dr, in Weston “ended on March 7,” John Sullivan, chief communications and legislative affairs officer for the Broward public school district, told the Miami Herald in an email Friday. “We appreciate the tremendous support of the school’s administrators, staff and families – as well as the guidance and collaboration from the Florida Department of Health – Broward – throughout this time.”

How many kids are vaccinated at your Broward school? Check the rates here

Broward County confirmed nine cases of measles in February, and seven of them were students at the Weston K-5 elementary school. At Manatee Bay, three percent of its student body are not vaccinated. The other two Broward measles cases involved children age 4 or younger, though the kids did not attend school in the district.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads easily by coughing and sneezing. While it’s rare for those who are vaccinated to get infected, up to 90% of people who aren’t vaccinated will get measles if exposed to someone with the disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

READ MORE: Did you get the measles vaccine before? Here’s how to check your immunization status

Florida has so far recorded 10 cases of measles this year. All but one of them were in Broward County. The other was an adult age 20-24 who lives in Polk County, Central Florida.

The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR vaccine, is about 93% or 97% effective, depending on whether you get one or two shots of the vaccine, according to the CDC. The public health agency says kids should get the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 to 6 years of age.

At Broward County Public Schools, 90% of students in public and charter schools managed by the district are fully vaccinated with the mandatory vaccines needed to attend school for the 2023-2024 school year. This is below the 95% vaccination threshold public health experts say is needed to reduce the outbreak risk of diseases such as measles, polio and chickenpox. And while some Broward schools met this threshold, many are below it.

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