measles vaccine

Markell DeLoatch, Public Opinion, USA Today

Students Without Measles Vaccine Ordered To Stay Home In Rockland County

October 18, 2018 - 4:54 pm
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NEW CITY, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- Rockland County is taking the extraordinary step of banning students without the measles vaccine from attending schools where there’s been a confirmed case of the measles.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported, Rockland County health officials are working urgently with the school administrators, trying to ensure that no more kids in the county become infected with measles.

They are going through a list of unvaccinated students and then lining up whether those students attend a school with another student who has already come down with measles.

If that is the case, the unvaccinated students are being ordered to stay away from school until at least November so that no new cases develop.

“Ninety percent of people who are exposed to measles can get it,” said Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert. “And that means if they’re in the same room with another person. That means if they enter the room within two hours after the person with measles left the room. It’s very, very infectious.”

It’s not clear how many students will be asked to stay home.

School administrators are also trying to figure out, for those students that do stay home, how they won’t fall behind the rest of their classmates.

A carrier from Israel is believed to have started the growing measles outbreak – which has infected 11 people in Rockland County and six children in Brooklyn.

It's the largest cluster of cases in Rockland County in at least 20 years and health officials are urging people to get vaccinated against measles.

Measles is highly contagious and can potentially become deadly. Anyone not protected by the measles vaccine has a 90 percent chance of getting the disease if exposed to it.

Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of measles vaccine, have had measles or have a lab test confirming immunity.