District works to contain measles

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Noblesville Schools Supt. Libbie Conner is hopeful the cases of measles that plagued the district last week is over.

“We think we came through it well,” she said.

To date, the Indiana State Dept. of Health has confirmed two cases of measles among all 9,400 Noblesville School students. The cases involved students at Noblesville Intermediate School and White River Elementary School. Following the first measles case, Conner said she was informed by State Supt. Tony Bennett the district was now under the jurisdiction of the state health department.

“The directions from them were changing as they got different information,” Conner said. “There was a lot of information swirling around and tests that needed to be confirmed.”

Upon direction of the Hamilton County Health Dept., Noblesville Schools announced on Feb. 15, no White River or Noblesville Intermediate school child without the state-required measles vaccination will be allowed to attend school until further notice. The district also canceled all after-school activities that day to help prevent the spread of measles. Conner said an expansive cleaning was done at all Noblesville Schools, not just NIS and White River.

“Measles is airborne and only viable two hours in the air. We had other very ill students at the time,” she said.

Conner said the district looks at the immunization records of all students entering kindergarten and sixth grade to ensure their records are up to date with shots and boosters. Additionally, any students moving into the district have their records checked regardless of grade level. State statute, however, allows children to not become vaccinated because of medical conditions or religious beliefs.

“We still have some students out for 21 days,” said Conner. “They do not have immunity to the measles.”

The city of Noblesville received notice Feb. 17 a city employee with the street department has been diagnosed with measles. The Indiana State Dept. of Health will be interviewing the employee, evaluating the situation and notifying the City of Noblesville on the next steps to take. City employees have been notified regarding this situation.

 

By Robert Herrington
robert@youarecurrent.com

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