The West Australian Heath Department is desperately trying to stop the spread of measles after a possible outbreak at a Perth public school attended by up to 200 unvaccinated children.
A high school student from the Perth Waldorf School – a Steiner school in Bibra Lake – was infected with measles while holidaying in Europe, ABC reports.
He was diagnosed back in Australia and there are now fears he may have spread the infection to fellow students. There are 400 pupils at the school, and as many as half are unvaccinated.
While measles is usually well-contained and manageable within a population that’s been immunised against the infection, it can be deadly for those who aren’t protected.
“The school is to exclude all exposed unvaccinated contacts from attending school until there is no longer a risk of them developing measles and exposing additional school children,” a statement from the WA Health Department said.
“Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is available for free to anyone not already vaccinated aged 19 years and under through the National Immunisation Program.”
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The school also released a statement saying the health department recommendations were put in place “as soon as the school was notified” of the infection, ABC reports.
“Perth Waldorf School is continuing to work closely with the WA Health Department and the family and student involved in this one confirmed measles case,” the school’s administrator Jean-Michel David said in a statement.
“We are acting on the advice of the Health Department with regards to how to best manage the situation, including communicating information with the community.”