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Taking Precautions to Safeguard Against Measles

Public Health recently reported five cases of measles in the Puget Sound area (as of May 15), with the latest incident confirmed in Issaquah this week. Click here, to monitor measles cases in Washington State.

 

There are no suspected cases in the Snoqualmie Valley School District at this time.

 

While we currently do not have any cases of measles in our district, we wanted you to know that we are in contact with Public Health to stay apprised of developments. We also want to make sure parents/guardians are well informed about steps they can take to protect their families from measles, the symptoms to look for, and what to do if you suspect someone in your family may have measles. 

 

Information About Measles from the Department of Health:

 

Please read this Measles Flyer.

 

Measles is extremely contagious, and can be serious, especially for young children. If your child has measles, please keep them home.

  • Measles virus travels through the air. You can get measles if you go near someone who has the virus because the virus stays for up to two hours in the air of a room where a person with measles has been.
  • You can catch measles from an infected person as early as 4 days before they have a rash and for up to 4 days after the rash appears.
  • Almost everyone who is not immune will get measles if they are exposed to the measles virus.
  • Foreign travel or exposure to foreign travelers increases the risk for measles.
  • Measles is the deadliest of all childhood rash/fever illnesses.

 

The best protection against measles is to get vaccinated. Make sure to protect yourself and your children with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. If your child has not been fully immunized with the MMR vaccine, please talk with your health care provider about getting the immunization. If you get a new MMR vaccination for your child, please provide your school nurse with the documentation to update our records.

 

Measles Symptoms -- Measles typically starts with:

  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • coughing
  • runny nose
  • red and watery eyes
  • tiredness

After a few days, a rash begins, which usually starts on the face and can spread over the entire body. Measles usually lasts 7 to 10 days. In some people, especially people who have chronic medical problems, are pregnant, or are malnourished, measles also leads to serious problems such as pneumonia, brain damage, blindness, deafness, and death.

 

Please watch for the signs and symptoms of the disease. If you suspect you/your child is ill with measles, please inform the school and seek medical care as needed. Call your health care provider before visiting the medical office or hospital so they can make a plan that avoids exposing others in the waiting room. (Tell them you have been exposed to measles and could be contagious.)

 

If exposure is confirmed at a school, Public Health will require that all un-immune students and staff, or those without documented immunity, to measles be excluded from that school, and all other child care, school and congregate settings, until 21 days have passed since date of last known possible exposure, in accordance with WAC 246-105-040. This is to prevent spread and reduce the risk of exposure to measles at schools with confirmed cases. 

 

Additional information about measles, in multiple languages, can be found at the Seattle/King County Public Health website:

www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/communicable-diseases/disease-control/measles.aspx.

 

If you have additional questions, please contact your healthcare provider, your school nurse, or Public Health at 206-296-4774.

 

Thanks for your time and efforts to help keep your families and schools healthy.