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. Therefore, we feel compelled to share some important information about what CCUSD is doing to protect our students and staff.
As you are aware, measles 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.
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. CCUSD will follow the Department of Public Health guidelines if there is a case of measles and has worked with employees throughout the District to educate them about what to look for in those exhibiting signs and symptoms of measles.
Knowing that the best way to prevent measles is to get immunized, we are currently evaluating the vaccination status of all students. The data for new and incoming kindergarten students is still being entered into Aeries, our Student Information System, and our nurses are currently checking health records by hand to determine if and how many unvaccinated students we have on our campuses.
As we find students who have not been vaccinated, we are reaching out to the families of those students to make sure our records are current and discuss the benefits of vaccination at this time, as well as the discussing the District’s policy on exclusion in the event of a measles outbreak (which is one reported case). Again, CCUSD has no reported cases of measles among students or staff on any of our campuses.
Adults – especially adults born after 1956 – should get the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine if they haven’t been vaccinated or don’t know if they were. MMR vaccines are very effective and can prevent almost all cases of measles. Children should receive their first dose of MMR vaccine at 12-15 months of age and a second dose at 4-6 years of age.
If you or your child has not received the recommended doses, please call your doctor to get the MMR vaccine, which may be covered by your insurance. Families who do not have a regular health care provider or health insurance that covers vaccines can visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip/IZclinics/clinics.html or call the Los Angeles County Information Line at 2-1-1 for referrals to providers offering vaccines at no-cost or a reduced cost.
School Nurses and Health Technicians are following-up with all of our families that have immunization waivers on file, as well as anyone that is on a slow schedule for measles vaccinations. CCUSD is also encouraging all of its employees to get vaccinated or get booster shots if they haven’t already done so.
If you think that you or someone in your family has been exposed to or has measles, contact your doctor’s office immediately. Inform the office that you (or a loved one) might have measles to allow them to take steps to prevent other patients and staff from being exposed. If you have any questions about measles or potential measles signs and symptoms in your student, please contact your School Nurse immediately.
To assist you in better understanding the issue, please visit the California Department of Public Health at: www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Measles.aspx. 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: www.ccusd.org/ourpages/auto/2013/3/7/55419203/Measles%20FAQ.pdf
We always recommend health promotion/disease prevention activities such as effective hand washing, getting enough of sleep, drinking plenty of fluids, regular exercise, and staying home when they are ill with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Also, we are creating a surveillance log to be used by front office staff. Attendance clerks will be asked to document when parents are calling in to report that their student is ill. This will allow us to track the various symptoms that are being reported and will inform our Nurses where/when follow-up is needed.
We have been in regular communication with the Department of Public Health, participated in a teleconference regarding Measles Preparedness for School and regularly monitor student attendance/health with our school teams. Without question, the health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority and we thank you for sharing in this great responsibility.