As you may be aware, on January 25, Governor Inslee declared a public health state of emergency after reports of 31 confirmed cases of measles were identified in the state. Most of the confirmed cases are in Clark County and there is one confirmed case in King County. We currently do not have any cases of measles in Lake Washington School District.
This unusual occurrence of measles may generate some concern or questions. To help keep you informed, district processes and state law for vaccinations is outlined below:
- In order to attend school, Washington State Law requires kindergarten students to receive 5 required immunizations:
- Hepatitis B
- DTap/Tdap (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis
- MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
- Lake Washington School District works with the Washington State Department of Health to comply with state laws on required vaccinations. In order for students to attend school, all parents are required to complete and return a certificate of immunization OR a certificate of exemption. This is filed within each student’s school record. If either certificate has not been completed and on file, students may not attend school.
- Details about Certificates of Immunization:
This form requires the healthcare provider to verify the completion of the 5 required vaccines. The parent is required to sign this form and return it to school.
- Details about Certificates of Exemption:
A parent or guardian may exempt their child from some or all vaccination listed above. Exemption types include “religious,” “personal/philosophical,” and “medical.” Exemption Certificates are required to be signed by the health care provider and the parent and the form must be returned to school. A person who has been exempted from a vaccination is considered at risk for the disease or diseases for which the vaccination offers protection. Exempted children/students may be excluded from school or child care settings and activities during an outbreak of the disease that they have not been fully vaccinated against. Find district information regarding vaccinations here: https://www.lwsd.org/programs-and-services/health-services/immunizations
- Details about Certificates of Immunization:
- Following state law and Lake Washington School District processes, vaccination reports are documented weekly by the health room secretary and the school nurse. Students must get vaccination doses at correct timeframes to be in compliance with requirements. Students who do not comply and who do not have required documentation are withheld from school attendance.
We currently do not have any cases of measles in Lake Washington School District. We are urging families to monitor their children for signs of measles. If you believe your child may have measles, please call their health care provider — do not go in. If you must take your child to the Emergency Room, please call ahead to let them know you are coming and that you suspect measles. If your child has not been fully immunized with the MMR vaccine, please talk with your health care provider about getting the immunization. You can also contact your school nurse for more information and resources.
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 four days before they have a rash and for up to four days after the rash appears.
- Almost everyone who has not had the vaccine 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.
Measles starts with:
- runny nose
- red and watery eyes
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 are 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 call your medical provider or building nurse if you have questions regarding measles.