Florida kid with measles lives near one of the least-vaccinated counties in the state


The Florida Department of Health said Thursday that a 6-year-old student at Fairlawn Elementary School in the town of Fort Pierce, on the state’s eastern coast, has contracted measles.

WPTV reports the child had not been vaccinated.

Florida has a religious-grounds exemption to vaccines, and the station says the school has identified other students at the same school who have not been vaccinated due to state-approved exemptions, which also include medical ones. The Health Department is contacting those families to say their student may not attend school until the completion of an incubation period, the station says.

Fort Pierce is located in St. Lucie County, which according to state records has a 94 percent immunization rate. Health officials recommend a 90 to 95 percent rate to achieve herd immunity from measles.

St. Lucie County lies just north of Martin County (in orange below), which has one of the lowest immunization rates in the state. Here are all the counties with less than 91 percent or less immunization:

Data from florida-vaccinations.silk.co

And at 5 percent, Martin County also has the second-highest religious exemption rate in the state.

Data from florida-vaccinations.silk.co

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.

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