Dear Editor – Superintendent Weighs In on Measles Outbreak

Light-bulb-0003-300x198Dear CCUSD Families,
As you may know, Southern California is currently experiencing a measles outbreak. Culver City Unified School District cares about the health and safety of our students, employees, parents and local community. As such, we feel compelled to share important information on the health risks associated with measles, and the measures that can be taken to prevent and treat it.
Though there have been no reported cases of measles among students or staff on any of our campuses, it is important for all of us to remain vigilant regarding the recent outbreak of measles in Southern California.
Measles, also called Rubella, is a highly contagious airborne respiratory disease caused by a virus. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.

Signs and Symptoms: Measles signs and symptoms appear 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. The infection occurs in sequential stages over a period of two to three weeks. Signs and symptoms of measles typically include: fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis), tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek, and a skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another. Over a 3-day period, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for 5 to 6 days, and then fades.

Who is at risk? Unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of measles and its complications, including death. Any non-immune person (who has not been vaccinated or was vaccinated but did not develop immunity) can become infected.

Transmission: Measles is spread by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions. The virus remains active and contagious in the air or on infected surfaces for up to 2 hours. It can be transmitted by an infected person from 4 days prior to the onset of the rash to 4 days after the rash erupts.

Treatment: No specific antiviral treatment exists for measles virus. Individuals with measles usually get better with home care, medication to lower the fever, plenty of rest and by drinking lots of fluids.

Prevention: Measles is preventable only through vaccination. However, in order to minimize your exposure to the measles virus:
Avoid close contact with others.
Any time you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose.
Disinfect surfaces at school.
Wash your hands.

School Exclusion Policy: Children with suspected or confirmed measles should be kept out of school or childcare until 4 days after the onset of rash. If a child is at school with any of the above signs and symptoms, the parent or guardian will be called to pick up the child. The parent/guardian will be asked to consult a physician and to provide a written note from a doctor indicating that the child may return to school.

To assist you in better understanding the issue, please visit the California Department of Public Health at: This website discusses some of the most common questions and their answers surrounding measles.

We have also posted some frequently asked questions regarding measles and a directive regarding the recent outbreak from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on the CCUSD website at:
We continue to educate students on the importance of hand washing at school, as well as other good health practices to reduce the spread of germs, including flu, and other illnesses.
The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority and a shared responsibility. Health and Success for All, Takes US All.

Thank you for your time, attention and concern.

Dave LaRose
Culver City Unified School District

The Actors' Gang

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