Watch CBS News

Number of measles cases is small but growing in South Florida

Two new cases of measles in Broward
Two new cases of measles in Broward 02:54

WESTON — The number of measles cases in south Florida is growing.

As of Monday, the state health department reported eight cases in Broward County.  Six were reported at Manatee Bay Elementary in Weston. Two other cases are not at Broward schools, according to the district.

And on Monday, Polk County (near Lakeland) reported that an adult had been diagnosed with measles.

According to the Broward School District on Monday at Manatee Bay Elementary:

  • 216 children out of nearly 1100 students were absent 
  • 33 children are unvaccinated for measles 
  • 34 children are getting alternative instruction, learning remotely 

Florida's surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, has told parents that they have a choice whether to send their kids to school if they are unvaccinated. A spokesman for Ladapo wrote, "Due to the high immunity rate in the community as well as the burden on families and educational cost of healthy children missing school, the surgeon general is deferring to parents and guardians." 

CBS Miami asked Manatee Bay parents about sending their children to school with possibly unvaccinated children. Grandmother Carmil Castro said, "It's very stressful even when you are vaccinated. You don't know what can happen." 

Parent Anthony Westrup said his son is vaccinated but the surgeon general's decision was of no consequence, "I think the education value is there. They already lost a lot of school time during COVID," he said.

The Centers for Disease Control said, unvaccinated children exposed to measles should stay home for 21 days.

That is contrary to Ladapo's view. 

School board member Debbie Hixon said the district is monitoring Manatee Bay Elementary. "We are disinfecting," she said. " It's up to the state to declare an emergency."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.