Measles
What is measles?
What are the symptoms of measles?
How do you get measles?
How long will it take to know if I've contacted measles?
What should I do if I think I may have been exposed?
How can I prevent myself and my family from getting measles?

Other communicable diseases
What is the district response to communicable diseases?
What prevention programs does the district currently have in place?
What precautions is the district taking in school cafeterias, classrooms, school buses and other high-student-use areas?
What do I do if my child is sick? 
What if my child gets sick at school?
Do I keep all my children home if only one child is sick?
What if a staff member is ill?
My family all received flu shots. Isn't that some protection?
Where can I get more information?

What is measles?

Measles is a communicable viral disease with symptoms of fever, red eyes, rash and cough. The rash appears as a red blotchy rash, starting on the face and traveling to the arms and legs. It usually lasts three or more days.  Pneumonia, ear infections and diarrhea are complications that can occur in about 30 percent of people infected. One to two in 1,000 experience severe complications such as brain inflammation or death. Complications are more common in very young children and adults.

What are the symptoms of measles?

Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat. It is followed by a rash that starts on the head at the hairline and moves down the body.

How do you get measles?

The disease is spread by coughing/sneezing or direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected persons. The measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours after the infected person leaves. 

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How long will it take to know if I’ve contacted measles?

The period of time from exposure to appearance of symptoms is 21 days.

What should I do if I think I may have been exposed?

Call your healthcare provider to let him or her know you may have been exposed. He or she will let you know when you should visit the office, to avoid exposing it to others in the waiting room. If you don’t have a healthcare provider, call your local emergency room or urgent-care center to let them know why you need to come in, so they can advise you on the best time.

How can I prevent myself and my family from getting measles?

CDC recommends all children get two doses of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at four to six years of age. Children can receive the second dose earlier as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.

Students at post-high school educational institutions who do not have evidence of immunity (http://www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp/index.html#immunity) against measles need two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.

Adults (born before 1957) who do not have evidence of immunity (http://www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp/index.html#immunity) against measles should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Adults born after 1957 need two doses of MMR vaccine.

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What is the district response to communicable diseases?

Mesa Public Schools will follow the direction of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will continue to offer prevention education to students, staff and parents. It includes hand-washing hygiene, cough/sneeze cover etiquette and good health habits. If a student is ill with a fever, we will be enforcing the county health department guideline, which recommends that the student not be at school when he appears to be ill, especially with a fever. The health department has directed us to not allow children to be at school with a fever or to return to school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medication.

What prevention programs does the district currently have in place?

School nurses, health assistants and principals are reviewing prevention practices at each school. Students and staff will continue to receive education on the healthy habits of covering coughs/sneezes, hand-washing and other good health practices such as rest, good nutrition, exercise and seeing the doctor when ill. School nurses are on alert to screen students for symptoms.

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What precautions is the district taking in school cafeterias, classrooms, school buses and other high-student-use areas?

Teachers are asking students to wash their hands before and after meals. Custodians, school staff and other service staff have a cleaning protocol that focuses on high-use areas and equipment.

What do I do if my child is sick?

If your child is sick, please contact the school office as you would for an absence due to illness. Please inform the attendance clerk of your child’s symptoms. Your information will assist us in monitoring any serious outbreaks in a specific classroom or campus. For example: "My child is home with a sore throat, a deep cough and a fever of 102." Please take the time to expand your message beyond just saying, "My child is sick." Our nurses sincerely appreciate your help in this matter. Follow up with your doctor if you are having trouble getting the fever down; the child is blue, having difficulty breathing or seems very lethargic; or you have concerns that she/he might be getting sicker.

What if my child gets sick at school?

If your child becomes sick at school, you will be contacted. Please make sure that the school office has updated emergency contact information. Have a care plan should your child become ill and you have to work. It is never a good idea to leave a sick child home alone. Please be prompt in picking up a sick child as there may be a chance of making healthy children ill.

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Do I keep all my children home if only one child is sick?

The child who is ill should remain home, and the children who are healthy and showing no symptoms should be sent to school.

What if a staff member is ill?

According to Maricopa County Department of Public Health guidelines, the same procedures will be followed as if a student is ill. The staff member should go home and only return until she/he is fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medication.

My family all received flu shots. Isn't that some protection?

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health is recommending that children and adults get the regular seasonal flu vaccine. It is an excellent idea to get a yearly flu vaccine as it will rule out other illness. Mesa Public Schools will have the opportunity to voluntarily host a "free flu immunization clinic" to administer free flu vaccines to students who return a signed parental consent form.

Where can I get more information?

You can contact:

  • Arizona Department of Health Services, General and Public Information: 602-542-1025
  • Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Disease Prevention: 602-372-2605
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1-800-232-4636

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