From the Lincoln County School District:
Dear Parent or Guardian,
With the current measles outbreak investigation in Clark County, Wash., we understand that parents in our area have questions about what can be done to keep children safe, and what their child’s school/child care will do if a case of measles is confirmed at their site.
Here are some important points to keep in mind:
- Measles is highly contagious. If a case is confirmed in a school or child care center, Washington County Public Health will review all staff and student vaccination records to determine the risk of further spread.
- Keeping children in school/child care is a priority, but measles is a serious disease. If an unvaccinated person is exposed to measles, they will not be allowed to go to school or child care during the time period when they could become sick, usually for 21 days after exposure.
This may be extended if there are more measles cases.
- People excluded from school or child care after a measles exposure are asked to stay home to avoid exposing others in the community.
- Now is a great time for all families, teachers and school administrators to review their vaccine records and get their vaccines up to date.
Your child can receive vaccination against measles from:
- Primary Care Providers
- Pharmacies, for ages 7 and older
- Public Health Department, call for an appointment 541-265-4112
- Community Health Centers, located in Lincoln City & Newport. Call for an appointment 541-265-4947
We advise that you call your primary care provider or the pharmacy of choice ahead of time to ensure they have the measles vaccine in stock.
- Measles is a very contagious viral disease that can spread through the air when someone sick with measles, coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread by direct contact with nose discharge and spit of someone sick with measles.
- The symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes followed by a red rash that usually begins on the head or face and spreads to the rest of the body.
- People are contagious with measles for four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears.
- After a person who is not immune is exposed to measles, symptoms usually develop in one to two weeks, but it can take up to three weeks.
- Complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection and, in rare cases, inflammation of the brain.
About one in 1,000 children dies of measles.
- Anyone who is not immune to measles and believes they have measles symptoms should contact their health care provider or urgent care by telephone before going in to the clinic to make arrangements to avoid exposing others to the virus.
- People are considered immune to measles if any of the following are true:
- You are a pre-school age child with one measles vaccine (MMR – measles, mumps, rubella)
- You are a school-age child (K-12) or adult who has had one measles vaccine (MMR – measles, mumps, rubella).
- You were born before 1957.
- You have had measles (diagnosed by a health care provider and confirmed with a lab test).
- You have had a blood test that shows you are immune to measles.
Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or their local county health department.
Up to date information on the investigation and public exposures can be found on the Clark County, Wash., website: https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/measles-investigation