18 May 2016
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
As you may be aware from reports in the media, there has been an outbreak of measles in Waikato, and now in Northland. Attached is a letter from Dr Clair Mills, the Northland Medical Officer of Health advising of the situation and recommending vaccinations for those who are not immunised against measles. We emailed this letter out to the parent community on Monday when we received it, and attach it again in case you missed it.
Measles – Important Information
This morning we have been advised that there is the possibility of widespread exposure to measles in our local community, with new cases likely to be occurring from this week. Dr Mills advises that it is important all of us are aware of our vaccination status and the signs and symptoms of measles.
The Northland District Health Board are from tomorrow requiring evidence of student vaccination be provided to them here at school. Public Health Nurses will be at school to collate this information. We ask that you either send your child to school with, for example, their Plunket Book, or contact your family doctor for your child’s relevant immunisation status.
Students who are not vaccinated can receive a free measles vaccination at school from Friday 20 May, and through the weekend of 21 – 22 May. This vaccination will be administered by the Public Health Nurses. We will confirm times, and weekend locations for these clinics when we know more details. The weekend clinics will also be open to the wider community.
Vaccination consent forms will be made available to students at school from tomorrow for those who require vaccinations at school on Friday.
Our local Public Health Nurse, Claire Forrest will be at school throughout the day on Thursday 19 May and Friday 20 May. Claire is available should you have any queries or concerns, and can be contacted on 021 432 082.
There is no compulsion to vaccinate for those who do not wish to. However, if someone gets measles, all contacts are required to self-isolate for two weeks, which is very disruptive to school, family and work.
Dr Clair Mills also advises that should people begin to feel unwell they should take precautionary steps and isolate themselves. It is important to be aware of symptoms and signs of measles and to keep students away from school if they are unwell.
Measles starts like a cold with runny nose and fever, and then a blotchy rash which spreads from the neck and head to the rest of the body.
For students who have medical conditions which potential exposure to measles might exacerbate, we suggest checking in with your family doctor and following their advice.
We anticipate that any school closures as a result of this outbreak are unlikely, however we are prepared should this be the case. Our most timely communication channels would be via the Keri News and direct email to you, and we would also alert this to you via a notification on the Kerikeri High School App, which is available for free download on the App Store and Google Play.
If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Deputy Principals.
M Clent (Mr)