Messages for Schools Regarding Measles


    Messages for Schools Regarding Measles

    Measles cases are on the rise in the U.S. While there are no cases in Wisconsin, several of our neighboring states do have cases. We care about your student's health and want you to have the important information below. Please share with your staff and parents.

    What is measles?

    Measles is a respiratory (lung) illness that caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when someone who is sick with the virus coughs or sneezes. Early symptoms may include cough, runny nose, high fevers, pink eye, and a red rash with raised bumps that begins at the hairline and moves down the body. Later symptoms my include pneumonia and swelling of the brain that can rarely lead to death.

    What if my child has measles symptoms?

    Call your doctor right away. Keep your child at home until you are able to talk with your doctor. When your child is sick and they still go to school or sports, the virus can spread to other students.

    How can we prevent measles from spreading?

    The best way for us to prevent the spread is through vaccination with the MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine is safe and effective for protecting against measles, mumps, and rubella.

    Children need two doses for full protection:

    • The first dose is given at ages 12 through 15 months.
    • The second dose is given at ages four through six years. In Wisconsin, the second dose is required for kindergarten entry.
    • If children ages 7-18 are unvaccinated, give two doses separated by at least 28 days.

    Should adults get the MMR vaccine?

    Yes, adults should check to see that they are up to date with MMR and other vaccines.

    • Adults born before 1957 are considered to be immune (protected) against measles.
    • Adults born on or after January 1, 1957, need at least one dose of measles containing vaccine.

    • If you are unsure if you are protected, talk to your doctor.

    How do I know if my children already received these vaccines?

    You can look up their vaccine record through the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR). Contact your doctor or local health department if you need help.

    Where can my children get the vaccines they need?

    • If you have insurance, including Medicaid, call your doctor to make and appointment.
    • If you don’t have insurance, or have insurance that does not cover vaccines, you may qualify for the Wisconsin Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. Call your local health department to learn more.

    What other vaccines do my children need?

    • Preschool/Kindergarten: DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis, Varicella, and Polio
    • Middle and High School: Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis), HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), and Meningococcal vaccines.
    • Everyone: Influenza
  • Should I Send my Child to School?

    An Information Sheet from the Waukesha County Dept. of Public Health and Human Services

    615 W. Moreland Blvd. Waukesha, WI 53188

    For further information phone: 262-896-8430

    One of the problems most often confronting parents of school-age children occurs when a child complains of not feeling well on a school day. A decision must be made as to whether the child stays home or goes to school. What do you do? How do you make the right decision? You don't want to keep him or her home if he/she really isn't sick, but you also don't want to send a sick child to school. The following information is not intended to take the place of your pediatrician's advice but to provide guidelines to be followed until your doctor can be contacted for his/her opinion.


    Consult your doctor if your child has a stomachache that is persistent or severe enough to limit his/her activity. If vomiting occurs, keep your child home until he/she can keep fluids and foods down. A child with diarrhea should be kept home. Call your doctor if prompt improvement does not occur.

    Cold/Sore Throat/Cough

    The common cold presents the most frequent problem to parents. A child with a "heavy" cold and a hacking cough belongs at home in bed, even though he or she has no fever. If your child complains of a sore throat and has no other symptoms, he or she may go to school. If white spots can be seen in the back of the throat or a fever is present, keep him or her at home and call your doctor.


    A rash may be the first sign of one of many of childhood's illnesses, such as chicken pox. A rash, or "spots" may cover the entire body or may appear in only one area. Do not send a child with a rash to school unless your doctor says it is safe to do so. .


    If your child has a toothache, call your dentist. For earaches, consult your pediatrician without delay. A child whose only complaint is a headache usually need not be kept home.


    A fever is a warning that all is not right with the body. The best way to check for fever is with a thermometer, which everyone should have at home. No child with a fever over 100° by mouth should be sent to school. When a thermometer is not available, check the child's forehead with the back of the hand. If it is hot, keep the child at home until the fever can be checked with a thermometer. Do not allow your child to return to school until he or she has been free of fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication (i.e. acetaminophen and ibuprofen).

    Children have been kept home from school for reasons other than illness. Unnecessary absence from .school may have a bad effect on a student's attitude, work habits and progress. Use your own good common sense and remember: Sick children belong at home and well children belong at school.

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