Measles shut down school in one of California's most unvaccinated counties

Yuba River Charter School, a Nevada County, Calif.-based school with students from kindergarten through eighth grade, closed its campus on Tuesday in response to a confirmed case of the measles in one of its unvaccinated students.

According to the California Department of Public Health's annual report on kindergarten vaccination rates, Yuba River has kindergarten rates well below the required immunization standards. Less than half (43 percent) of the school's kindergartners have up-to-date vaccinations. Countywide, only 77.1 percent of kindergartners meet immunization requisite standards. That's the second lowest rate of immunization in the state. Trinity County holds the top spot.

Karen Smith, MD, CDPH director, said in an announcement, "As the state's public health officer, it's concerning to receive a report of a child with measles because it's a disease that can easily be prevented...immunization is the best way to protect against measles. Two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine are approximately 97 percent effective at preventing disease in exposed persons."

State Sen. Richard Pan, MD, a pediatrician representing California's Sacramento region, made a statement about the measles case at Yuba River and a state mandate for immunization that was just passed last year.

"Measles is a highly contagious and potentially life-threatening disease, and SB 277 was passed last year to boost community immunity and prevent outbreaks like the one now occurring in Nevada County. When schools begin to implement the new law this fall and more children are vaccinated, we will begin to boost our immunity levels which have declined to dangerously low levels in many communities in the state," said Dr. Pan.

More articles on infection control: 
Scientists unlock genetic information that could prove valuable in malaria fight 
WHO says Ebola no longer a world health emergency 
Key to optimizing the new pertussis vaccine might be going back to the old one

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