Issaquah High School is closed Thursday after a confirmed case of measles at school. Officials say they must now check the immunization status of its staff.
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This follows news reported by the Issaquah reporter that a high school staff member is one of five measles cases recently detected by the Washington State Department of Health. . The school noted in a press release that all of its students had proof of vaccination and Thursday's check was restricted to staff.
KIRO 7 reports that anyone around high school between Monday, May 6 and Thursday, May 9 would have been exposed to the measles virus. To be hired by the school district, staff members must confirm the dates of any vaccination. The staff member of Issaquah High School worked there while he was infected, but did not realize he was sick.
Measles in Washington
One of the most recent cases discovered in Washington State had been completely immune, another was not, and the other three are still under investigation. . Four of the five cases were found in adults.
Two of the new cases were in King County. One of them – a student from Bothell High School – was identified in Snohomish County. Another was in Pierce County.
Although the exact sources of infections are not known, all new cases have spent time at SeaTac Airport when they were probably infectious.
In early May, health officials warned of the risk of a measles outbreak after a Canadian with the disease traveled to Seattle. The man reportedly visited several popular tourist sites in the city, as well as the Sea-Tac airport.
A multi-month epidemic in Clark County totaling 71 confirmed measles cases was officially declared at the end of April.
Symptoms of measles usually appear about seven to 21 days after the first exposure. It is contagious about four days before a rash is presented, as well as four days after it appears.
The highest risk of infection usually occurs in children under five, adults over 20, pregnant women, people who are immunocompromised by drugs or underlying diseases, and anyone who is not vaccinated against the measles virus.
Health officials urge all suspected infected persons to contact their local health care provider and not to visit a hospital or clinic without first announcing their intention to be assessed for measles.