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“Florida Measles Outbreak Raises Concerns, but Central New York’s High Vaccination Rates Offer Protection”

Florida Measles Outbreak Raises Concerns, but Central New York’s High Vaccination Rates Offer Protection

In a concerning turn of events, Florida has reported at least 10 cases of measles, a completely preventable situation. However, doctors in Central New York are confident that the majority of the local population should remain safe, even with frequent travel to Florida, thanks to the high vaccination rates in the region.

The “MMRV” vaccine, which protects against mumps, measles, and rubella, was established in 1971 following the creation of the initial measles vaccine in the 1960s. According to the CDC, this vaccine has an impressive 97% effectiveness rate after two rounds of administration. The first round is recommended when a child reaches 12 months old, and the second between the ages of four and six.

Dr. Robert Dracker, the immediate past president of the Onondaga County Medical Society and the current medical director at Summerwood Pediatrics, emphasizes the importance of vaccination. He believes that ensuring patients are vaccinated is one of the most crucial responsibilities of a pediatrician. “It’s probably the greatest thing we do as a pediatrician, is make sure the patients that we care for are vaccinated,” Dr. Dracker stated.

Dr. Dracker is not alone in his criticism of Florida’s surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo. Other medical professionals have also voiced their concerns. It is well-established guidance that unvaccinated children who have been exposed to measles should isolate for 21 days. However, Dr. Ladapo’s letter to parents suggests that it would be their decision to make. “Because of the high likelihood of infection, it is normally recommended that children stay home until the end of the infectious period,” Dr. Ladapo’s letter reads, as reported by the Washington Post. This approach raises concerns among medical professionals who believe that such decisions should be based on expert guidance rather than leaving it up to parents or guardians.

The outbreak has already affected nine children in Broward County schools and one adult in their early twenties in Polk County. Dr. Dracker warns that measles can easily spread through communities with low vaccination rates, posing a significant risk to vulnerable individuals. Measles is highly contagious, and the rise of vaccine hesitancy has allowed it to resurface in various locations, despite the U.S. declaring the virus “eradicated” nationally in 2000, thanks to the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Dr. Dracker expresses his frustration with vaccine hesitancy, particularly regarding preventable illnesses like measles. He attributes this hesitancy to ignorance or misinformation found on the internet or spread by word of mouth. However, he remains optimistic about Central New York’s situation as long as enough people in the region remain up to date on their vaccinations. The main concern arises when unvaccinated family members travel to areas experiencing outbreaks, as they could potentially bring the virus back home.

In conclusion, while Florida grapples with a measles outbreak, Central New York’s high vaccination rates offer significant protection to its residents. The importance of vaccination cannot be overstated, and medical professionals like Dr. Dracker continue to advocate for its crucial role in preventing the spread of preventable diseases. It is essential for individuals to rely on accurate information from trusted sources rather than succumbing to misinformation that can jeopardize public health.


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