Measles case reported at California school with record low vaccination rate

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Measles Case Shuts Down California School With Low Vaccination Rate


The Yuba River Charter School in Nevada County, California — a county with one of the lowest immunization rates in the state — closed Tuesday after a child there was diagnosed with measles. California's department of public health is reportedly investigating the child, who "showed symptoms of measles after returning home from a trip overseas."

He's fine, but he was also infectious at school on March 17, which means his unvaccinated classmates were exposed to the highly contagious disease. If no new cases are reported, the school will be closed to all students until Wednesday and closed to students without a measles vaccine until April 8.

Coincidentally, YRCS's immunization rate is even lower than the county average — according to the Huffington Post, only 43 percent of kindergarteners there are up to date on their immunizations. That number is even lower than the already low county average of 77.1 percent of kindergarteners who meet the requirement.

RELATED GALLERY: See photos from California's measles outbreak in January 2015

11 PHOTOS
California measles
See Gallery
Measles case reported at California school with record low vaccination rate
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 28: Miami Children's Hospital pediatrician Dr. Amanda Porro, M.D prepares to administer a measles vaccination to Sophie Barquin,4, as her mother Gabrielle Barquin holds her during a visit to the Miami Children's Hospital on January 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. A recent outbreak of measles has some doctors encouraging vaccination as the best way to prevent measles and its spread. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 28: Miami Children's Hospital pediatrician Dr. Amanda Porro, M.D administers a measles vaccination to Sophie Barquin,4, as her mother Gabrielle Barquin and Miami Children's Hospital R.N. Diane Lichtman (R) hold her during a visit to the Miami Children's Hospital on January 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. A recent outbreak of measles has some doctors encouraging vaccination as the best way to prevent measles and its spread. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FOR USE AS DESIRED WITH MEASLES STORIES - A flyer educating parents about measles is displayed on a bulletin board at the Tamalpais Pediatrics clinic Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, in Greenbrae, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Pediatrician Charles Goodman vaccinates 1 year- old Cameron Fierro with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, or MMR vaccine at his practice in Northridge, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. Some doctors are adamant about not accepting patients who don't believe in vaccinations, with some saying they don't want to be responsible for someone's death from an illness that was preventable. Others warn that refusing treatment to such people will just send them into the arms of quacks. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
People walk toward the Sleeping Beauty's Castle in the background at Disneyland, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. Seventy people have been infected in a measles outbreak that led California public health officials to urge those who haven't been vaccinated against the disease, including children too young to be immunized, should avoid Disney parks where the spread originated. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Mickey Mouse poses with visitors at Disneyland, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. Seventy people have been infected in a measles outbreak that led California public health officials to urge those who haven't been vaccinated against the disease, including children too young to be immunized, should avoid Disney parks where the spread originated. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
People watch a parade at Disneyland, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. A major measles outbreak traced to Disneyland has brought criticism down on the small but vocal movement among parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Mickey Mouse shaped balloons are for sale at Disneyland, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. A major measles outbreak traced to Disneyland has brought criticism down on the small but vocal movement among parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Interim Health Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, speaks about the state's measles outbreak during a news conference in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. The department is strongly advising unvaccinated individuals to get the measles vaccine. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Visitors arrive at the main entrance to the Disney theme parks, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. Seventy people have been infected in a measles outbreak that led California public health officials to urge those who haven't been vaccinated against the disease, including children too young to be immunized, should avoid Disney parks where the spread originated. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Dr. Karen Smith, the state's public health officer, is not pleased. "It's concerning to receive a report of a child with measles because it's a disease that can easily be prevented," she wrote in a statement. She went on to remind parents, including those who choose not to vaccinate their children, that "immunization is the best way to protect against measles. Two doses of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine are approximately 97 percent effective at preventing disease in exposed persons."

After the Disneyland measles outbreak of last spring, California passed strict legislation that requires parents to vaccinate their kids enrolled in public and private schools. According to the law parents can no longer be exempt from vaccinating their children for religious or personal reasons, although they can still opt out for medical reasons. Parents who refuse to comply with the law must homeschool their children.

In a letter to YRCS families, school director Ron Charles encouraged "conscious speech" when addressing the inevitable media storm and told parents the state health department recommends they vaccinate their kids. The school is even holding a free drive-up clinic on Thursday afternoon for all their MMR vaccine needs! Unfortunately for Charles and YRCS, if a parent has joined the ranks of the anti-vaxxers, it's unlikely even a measles outbreak will change their minds.

Read Full Story

People are Reading