Georgia health officials said on Monday they have identified the likely source of a measles outbreak in Cobb County, linking a disease with a local family of five who traveled to Florida in late September.
Members of the Cobb County family – all of whom were not vaccinated – were likely infected with measles during that trip to Florida, the Georgia Department of Public Health said. The diseases were never reported to health officials in Georgia, who only learned about the family's diagnoses during the investigation of the outbreak of the highly contagious disease.
Also on Monday, state health agencies announced two new cases of measles ̵
The total number of confirmed cases in Cobb County is 11 and the total year in Georgia at 18 years. At least 17 of those with measles were unvaccinated.
Health Ombudsman said that all cases in Cobb County are limited to three families living in the same neighborhood with children who have spent time with each other. Since the Mabry student was diagnosed, the exposed, including unvaccinated students and at least one adult at the school, have stayed home.
If the number of cases does not increase during an incubation period ending November 22. officials said they are hopeful that will signal that the outbreak contains.
In the United States, most measles cases are the result of international travel. The virus usually comes here from people infected in other countries. Then the travelers spread the disease to people who have not been vaccinated.
State health officials are asking anyone with symptoms of measles to call a health care provider before going to the doctor's office or hospital.
The measles virus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Drops from the nose or mouth become airborne or land on surfaces where bacteria can live for two hours.
MORE: What is measles and how can you prevent it?
MORE: Four questions about school vaccinations in Georgia
Measles is so contagious that if a person has it, up to 90% of the people around him or her will also be infected if they are not vaccinated.
In Georgia, vaccinations are mandatory for public schooling, but there are exceptions for medical and religious reasons.
An estimated 93.6% of young children in Georgia received the recommended vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella, slightly lower than the national average of 94.7%, according to research published in an October issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Also in Georgia, 2.5% of pre-schools had an exception to at least one vaccine, which is the same overall percentage for the United States
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