Measles update: 10 North Creek students must stay home

The teens don’t have a measles vaccination. They can return June 3, barring more cases at the school.

BOTHELL — Ten North Creek High School students with no record of measles immunization won’t be returning to campus until at least June 3 in an effort to keep the viral infection from spreading.

A student at the Bothell-area campus was confirmed to have measles earlier this week.

“Our nursing staff and support staff at the high school, along with the Snohomish Health District, scoured immunization records and determined which students might need to be excluded from school,” the Northshore School District announced in a Friday press release.

Exclusion letters were sent to families. The district began receiving the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine verifications from health care providers for some students who were expected to be excluded. That pared the list to the 10 students.

Roughly 99 percent of North Creek High students have had an MMR vaccination.

The excluded students will be allowed to return to school June 3, barring any additional measles cases in the school.

Staff began planning to ensure excluded students in general education and those receiving special services will have their needs addressed to complete the school year, district officials said.

The North Creek student with the measles is the first confirmed case in Snohomish County in the latest outbreak. He is one of six recently confirmed in western Washington. Three were in King County and two others in Pierce County. The new cases are unrelated to an earlier outbreak in Clark County where 67 of the 71 illnesses involved children.

In the latest outbreak, all six people spent time at Sea-Tac Airport during their likely time of exposure or infectiousness. The North Creek teen was the only child among the five.

Measles is highly contagious and can be serious. It is easily spread when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes.

As a result of the new case, Providence Regional Medical Center Everett has re-implemented active screening for patients with signs or symptoms consistent with measles in all care settings, the hospital reported Friday.

At the same time, the Snohomish Health District is conducting daily monitoring of at least 10 people for potential symptoms, said Heather Thomas, a spokeswoman for the agency. No symptoms have been found, but the checks will continue through May 31.

The latest outbreak has sparked an interest getting immunizations.

“We have definitely seen an uptick in MMR vaccinations and our pharmacy teams have ordered extra of the vaccine to meet demands,” said Tairsa Worman, a Safeway spokeswoman. “I do recommend that people call the pharmacy to make sure it’s in stock and in the unlikely chance that it’s not available, the pharmacist will get the doses in ASAP.”

The Snohomish Health District earlier this week released a list of locations and dates where the North Creek student has been since he has been infectious.

From May 5 to 12, those locations included school, three long stints at the Starbucks kiosk at Safeway at 24040 Bothell-Everett Highway, AMC Woodinville 12, Top Pot Donuts in Bothell and other stores and restaurants.

Anyone at those sites during specified times might have been exposed.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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