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Probably the source of the measles outbreak in Cobb

Georgia Health officials said Monday that they identified a likely source of measles outbreaks in Cobb County by linking the disease stream to a local five-member family that went to Florida in late September.

Cobb County family members, all of whom were unvaccinated, were likely to have contracted measles during this trip to Florida, the Georgia Department of Health said. Diseases were never reported to Georgia state health workers who learned family diagnoses only during an investigation into the outbreak of this contagious disease.

Also on Monday, the state health agency announced two new cases of measles – the brothers and sisters of a newly diagnosed student at Mabry High School. They were also not vaccinated, but are not members of a family infected in September.

The total number of confirmed cases in Cobb County is 11, and the total number in Georgia for the year is 18. At least 17 of those with measles were not vaccinated.

Health officials said all cases in Cobb County are limited to three families who live in the same area as children who spend time with each other. After a student of Mabry was diagnosed, those remaining at home, including unvaccinated students and at least one adult at school, remained at home.

If the number of cases does not increase during the incubation period, which ends November 22, officials said they hope this signals a containment of the outbreak.

In the United States, most cases of measles are the result of international travel. The virus is usually brought here by people who become infected in other countries. These travelers then transmit the disease to people who have not been vaccinated.

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Government health officials ask anyone with measles symptoms to call their healthcare provider first before going to the doctor's office or hospital.

Measles virus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Drops from the nose or mouth fall into the air or fall on a surface where microbes can live for two hours.

MORE: What is measles and how can you prevent it?

MORE: Four questions about vaccinations for school in Georgia

Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people around him will also become infected if they are not vaccinated.

In Georgia, vaccinations are mandatory for attending public schools, 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, which is slightly lower than the national average of 94.7%, according to a study published in the October issue of the Centers for Control and disease prevention weekly. Report.

Also in Georgia, 2.5% of kindergartens were exempted from at least one vaccine, which is the same overall percentage for the United States.