Dear Parents or Guardian,

At this time, there are no measles cases in Montana. However, the current measles outbreak in Clark County, Washington, raises concerns about what parents should know in order to keep their children safe, and what their school or childcare will do if a case of measles is confirmed in Montana.

Here are some important points to keep in mind:

Measles is highly contagious. If a case is confirmed in a school or child care center, the local health department will review all staff and student vaccination records to determine the risk of further spread.

Keeping children in school/childcare is a priority, but measles is a serious disease.

    o If an unvaccinated person is exposed to measles, they will not be allowed to go to school or child care during the time period when they could become sick, usually for 21 days after exposure. This may be extended if there are additional measles cases identified.

    o If an unvaccinated person is exposed to measles but received an MMR vaccine within 72 hours of exposure, they will be allowed to return to school.

    o If a vaccinated person is exposed to measles they are considered protected and can remain in school.

Now is a great time for school administrators to review student and staff vaccine records and get their vaccines up to date, if needed.

People are considered immune to measles if any of the following are true:

    o You are a preschool age child with one measles vaccine (MMR – measles, mumps, rubella).

    o You are a school-age child (K-12) who has had two measles vaccines (MMR – measles, mumps, rubella).

    o You were born before 1957, or are an adult with at least one-dose of measles vaccine.

    o You have had measles disease (diagnosed by a health care provider and confirmed with a lab test).

    o You have had a blood test that shows you are immune to measles.

If you have any questions about measles or MMR vaccine, please call Dahl Memorial Clinic at 775-8738 or Carter County Public Health at 775-6332.

Thank you,

Raquel Williams, RN

Dahl Memorial Clinic Nurse Manager