Contributing Writer | Telegraph Local
Students in Seattle public schools will not be able to return to school after the winter break unless vaccinated. The Seattle Public School District issued a letter to parents until proper information is given to the school nurse. The deadline for students to be vaccinated is January 8th. “If any students show up on the 8th and they don’t have their records up to date, they’ll be put aside in a room, their parents will be contacted to come and collect the students,” according to Tim Robinson, a spokesperson for the district.
The new crackdown on health-related issues comes after reports of Washington having 87 cases of measles were confirmed this past year. An estimate of 2,000 students is due for a vaccination. The Seattle Public School District will be hosting free immunizations clinics to help speed up the process. Clinics will be open Monday and Friday of next week, according to the Seattle Public School District website. Tim Robinson has said the district has a plan to handle students who don’t get their vaccine in time. “If a student comes to school on the 8th and their records aren’t up to date, they’ll just be held aside, their parents or guardian will be contacted.”
This past year, Washington passed a bill, which is now a law, that prohibits families from using personal or philosophical reasons to avoid getting their child the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. After Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency, the bill was pushed forward into law. So far, there have been 32 states with confirmed cases of the measles outbreak in 2019.
Since the beginning of 2019, there have been 1,276 mealses-related cases in the United States. According to the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is the highest number of cases reported in one-year since 1992. At least 124 of those cases had to be hospitalized while 64 developed side effects like pneumonia. According to health officials, at least 5 U.S. airports, unknowingly, transported travelers who had come into contact with measles.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), measles cases have climbed up by 300% in 2019. Measles outbreaks, outside of the US, have been reported in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Philippines, Sudan, Thailand, and Ukraine. Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases, with the potential to be extremely severe if untreated correctly. In most high traffic areas, the outbreak tends to spread even more quickly. In the African region cases of the measles outbreak have risen by 900%, the Western Pacific Region (230%) and the European Region (150%), according to the CDC. 9 out 10 people not protected from the measles will become exposed. Although its highly contagious, the measles are very much preventable. At least 21 million lives have been saved since 2000. Measles deaths have dropped 80% since the early 2000s.