Bay Area school district take measures to tackle measles

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Schools are a mix of learning, laughter, play-time, and of course, germs.

That's why the recent outbreak of measles across California has parents and education officials on edge, especially since many of the dozens of cases originated at Disneyland.

Students, staff and families at Washington Open Elementary in the Santa Clara Unified School District know how quickly a virus can spread. Last week, they had to alert the Santa Clara County Public Health Department because more than 10 percent of the students were absent because of flu-like symptoms.

"Right now, I'm just more concerned about the flu and the school. As far as measles goes, not yet. I mean if there are more cases, then yeah," said Chyi Pack, a parent.

Santa Clara County has only one confirmed case of measles, who is an adult.

But that's not stopping the Public Health Department from issuing a letter to the Board of Education. It will be sent to the 31 school districts to be dispersed to 270,000 children and their families.

It's really just a message to say don't be alarmed. Don't be panicked. There have been these cases but here are the facts. Here's some resources and a reminder to make sure that their children are immunized and adults are immunized as well," explained Ken Blackstone with the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

Health officials say the only way to stop the spread of measles is through vaccinations. Santa Clara Unified says 93 percent of the children are up to date on their immunizations.

Some advice from health officials: If you're not sure if you've received a measles vaccination, get another one.

Measles is very contagious. It starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat, and perhaps fatigue.

As those symptoms start to go away, people get spots inside their mouth and then a rash all over.

It usually takes about 7 to 18 days to get symptoms after you have been around someone who has measles.

For full coverage on the measles outbreak, click here.
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