Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board: Indian Leadership for Indian Health

WA DOH Measles Letter for School Nurses

From: DOH PCH Immunization Child Profile

Date: February 24, 2015, 10:26 AM PST
Subject: Measles letter for school nurses This email is for Local Health Jurisdiction Immunization Coordinators

We wanted to make sure you were aware of the email that we sent to school staff encouraging them to be prepared for measles in their schools.

As of 2/20/15, there are 6 measles cases in our state in Clallam and Grays Harbor counties.  Nationally, between Jan. 1 to Feb. 20, 154 people from 17 states in the U.S. and Washington DC were reported to have measles.  Most of the cases [118 (77%)] are part of a large, ongoing, multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

In light of measles activity in our state, please start thinking ahead and be prepared in the event measles comes to your school or community.  Here are steps you can take:

*  Notify your local health jurisdiction (LHJ) of suspected or confirmed disease cases or outbreaks that may be associated with the school (WA Administrative Code 246-101-420
o   Refer to WA Administrative Code 246-110-010 for a list of infectious diseases.
o   Review the Infectious Disease Control Guide for School Staff for prevention and control of infectious diseases in the school setting.

*  Find measles information on the Department of Health webpage. The measles Frequently Asked Questions is a great tool.

*  Review student immunization status.
*  Review all students’ Certificate of Immunization Status for the required 2 doses of MMR vaccine. Encourage parents of all students who have not had two measles vaccinations to have their children vaccinated.  Measles vaccine is safe and effective and the best way to protect their children from a serious disease.
*  Make sure you have a list of all students who are not completely protected against diseases prevented by vaccines.
*  Students who are exempt, conditional, or out of compliance may be excluded from school during an outbreak.  The local Health Officer at the LHJ has the authority to make decisions about exclusion during an outbreak.

*  Review staff immunization records.
*  Ensure that all teachers and staff have been vaccinated and have documentation of their vaccination including date of administration.
*  Staff should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine unless staff has evidence of immunity (meaning they were born before 1957, have lab evidence of immunity to measles, or documentation of measles vaccination).  If a staff member is at high risk, he or she should get two doses of MMR vaccine.  School staff that are also healthcare workers, international travelers, and college students would be considered high risk.  Staff should talk to their healthcare provider about MMR vaccine.  Unimmunized staff may be excluded during an outbreak.  The local Health Officer has the authority to make decisions about exclusion during an outbreak.

*  Send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

if you have any questions.


Trang Kuss, RN, MN, MPH; School and Child Care Public Health Nurse Consultant; Department of Health Office of Immunization and Child Profile
Phone: 360-236-3760; Cell: 360-878-2003; FAX: 360-236-3590

Washington State Immunization Information System Every age. Every vaccination.

School and Child Care Website:

“The Department of Health works to protect and improve the health of people in Washington State.”