(St. Joseph,MO) Over a dozen students from Liberty, Missouri, are currently being kept out of class after a recent outbreak of the Measles.
Thirteen unvaccinated middle school students are being kept at home to protect them from contracting the virus and spreading disease. In Missouri students with compromised immune systems or religious objections can be exempt from receiving the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccinations usually required for enrolling in public schools.
But a student’s lack of immunizations could mean they are depending on herd immunization;making them dependent on being surrounded by other vaccinated students to help keep them from getting sick, despite not having been vaccinated themselves.
Although symptoms of the Measles don’t appear until 10-14 days after exposure, the virus can cause fever, loss of appetite, fatigue and a full body rash. It is highly contagious and can lead to pneumonia and
Maria Burnham, Health Services Director for the St. Joseph School District said the best way to prevent contracting the virus is to get vaccinated.
“Some of these illnesses and diseases come back around , because [of a] lack of knowledge on the importance of immunizing kids and really everyone. We are seeing some of theses things and they are very serious,” Burnham said.
No cases of the Measles have been reported in the St. Joseph School District, but Burnham said they have a plan in place just in case.
“We communicate closely with our Health Department. If something like this were to ever happen, they would take over. They [would] become the authority and we would follow what they recommend,” Burnham said.