Western Washington high school closed Thursday after staff member contracts measles

Western Washington high school closed Thursday after staff member contracts measles

A western Washington high school is closed Thursday while district officials try to verify the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination status of all students and staff.

Four new measles cases have been found in the Puget Sound area in recent days. One of the new cases is a woman who works at Issaquah High School. The school district said she attended work while contagious between May 6 and 9, before she knew she was infected.

According to KIRO news, a district spokesperson said they would not reveal more about the woman’s specific position or in which classrooms she worked.

State health officials have now advised school administrators they need to verify the vaccination status of everyone at the school in order to stop the spread of the disease.

Anyone who cannot prove they have received the MMR vaccine will be excluded from Issaquah High School until at least May 31, which is 21 days since the last possible exposure. If any new cases are found at the school, the exclusion will be extended.

Another one of the four new cases is a student at North Creek High School in Bothell. That student also attended classes while he or she was contagious.

Dr. Mark Beatty, a health officer for Snohomic County, said Wednesday, “We are working with the school and the Northshore School District to get more details about where and wen that person at school.”

The Northshore School District said Wednesday night it had checked its vaccination records and verified 99 percent of North Creek High School students were vaccinated. Those who did not have proof of the vaccination were told to stay home from school until at least June 3rd.

The Washington State Department of Health is already considering the four new cases an outbreak. Officials said all four people who are infected had recently visited Sea-Tac airport, so they are investigating a potential common exposure.

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