Measles is a highly infectious disease that can cause serious complications. The best protection against measles is the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella viruses. Although the majority of students in Snohomish County have been vaccinated against measles, some students and staff have not been vaccinated. These students and staff are at high risk to contract and spread measles, placing others at risk.
The first symptoms of measles are like a bad cold—a high fever, runny nose, and cough, followed by a rash that usually lasts 5 to 6 days. It can also cause red, watery eyes that are sensitive to light and the patient to be very tired. Measles can cause ear infections, pneumonia, hearing loss, seizures (jerking or staring), brain damage, and even death. There is no treatment for measles.
Messages for Staff and Families
Now is a good time to review immunization records on file with the school to determine which staff and students would be impacted, should exclusions become necessary. Here are some key messages we recommend to be included:
- It is recommended to receive the first dose of MMR vaccine between ages 12 and 15 months, and the second dose between ages 4 and 6 years.
- If you are not sure you have had both of your doses of MMR vaccine, you can check at MyIR.net.
- If you don’t think you have received all recommended doses of MMR vaccine, contact your healthcare provider for immunizations or a blood test.
- If you think you have been exposed to measles, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Stay home from work, school, child care, and any public outings (e.g., church, grocery store) until further recommendation by your provider.
For more information, please visit the Washington State Department of Health website at You and your family- Illness & Disease-Measles.