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What's New?

What to do if Measles is Suspected in School

5/1/2019
QUESTION:

What is the advisable actions/procedure to take with a student who is suspected of measles and in class? What about the staff and students in the class? or in other classes/bus that have had contact with student?

 
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Response Recommendation from the NJ Department of Health, Vaccine Preventable Disease Program

The school should report the individual suspect case immediately to the local health department (LHD) where the student resides (and if unknown, to the school’s LHD) or to us if the LHD is unavailable.

If the child came to school and the school nurse is suspecting measles, the child should be sent home immediately. The child should be picked up by the parent in a private car (no bus/train).

If the child is being suspected of having measles and needs evaluation by their pediatrician, the parent should call the medical provider before arriving at the medical office so that arrangements can be made to prevent others from being exposed (such as being seen as the last patient of the day with no others in the office).

Measles is airborne and stays in the air up to 2 hours after an infected person in a building so more than just the classroom would be considered exposed if this were to turn out to be a true case of measles.

Before any public health action would be taken, a case investigation would need to be conducted in order to provide the best recommendations. If there is concern meanwhile, it would be a good idea to review measles immune status for students and staff. If this is a true measles case and an exposure occurred in the school, persons without acceptable proof of immunity to measles would be excluded (exclusions should not occur without prior consultation with public health).