The Measles virus has begun popping up across Washington State. With 7 case in King County, and 2 in Pierce County (According to Washington State Department of Health as of 5/30/2019 ). Carriers have been in popular, populated areas around Puyallup including Target and Costco, putting anybody there during or after them at risk. Nationwide there has been over 695 in 22 states, the largest outbreak since 2000. This Disease first appeared in the 9th century, then disappeared in the years between 1963 and 1989 as a vaccine was made available and the Center for Disease Control pushed for people to get it.
A carrier of the Measles Disease suffers from many symptoms from runny noses, and aches and pains to 104 degree fevers and rashes. Serious cases result in pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain) which could result in death. These symptoms begin to appear 7-14 days after infection, and can leave a serious, life long toll on your body if not treated quickly.
In the Puyallup School District it is required for students to receive the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) twice before attending school, but students have the option to attend without the vaccination for religious, philosophical, or medical reasons. In the case of a medical exemption, the student is only temporarily exempt, meaning that once a their health care practitioner give the all clear for the student to receive the vaccine, they cannot attend school until they have received the vaccine. In the case of Personal, Philosophical, or Religions exemptions, the student is exempt from vaccines from Kindergarten to Senior year.
So what would happen to those unvaccinated kids if the Measles outbreak reached our school? Once a case is confirmed, district leadership would begin to review and exclude students from school. This is also applies to any unvaccinated staff members. Staff and students will be allowed to return upon receiving their first of two MMR vaccines, or 25 days after the most recent case has been confirmed.
While this disease has yet to reach us, the threat is imminent, and we should all do our best to protect ourselves and each other.
How can you protect yourself from the Measles virus? Step one is to get vaccinated, getting vaccinated is the easiest way to protect yourself from any virus, and the Measles vaccine is 97% . You can also protect yourself by washing your hands often, especially before touching your face, and protect others by covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Find out where you can get vaccinated here- https://vaccinefinder.org/?address=98373
Certificate of Exemption. Washington State Department of Health, Jan. 2018, www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/348-106_CertificateofExemption.pdf.
“Measles | History of Measles | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Feb. 2018, www.cdc.gov/measles/about/history.html.
“Measles | Photos of Measles and People with Measles | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Feb. 2018, www.cdc.gov/measles/about/photos.html.
“Mumps Outbreak Arrives In Pierce County.” Mumps Outbreak Arrives In Pierce County – Puyallup School District, Puyallup School District, 13 Jan. 2017, puyallupsd.ss11.sharpschool.com/cms/one.aspx?portalId=141151&pageId=3524656.