KUSD Prepared if Measles Strikes
With areas like Chicago getting their first taste of the measles outbreak, the fear for Wisconsin residents is hitting closer to home.
All Wisconsin students are required to be immunized, but there are exceptions, covered by a waiver. Currently, for your child to be compliant under the law, they must be completely up to date on all vaccines or have a waiver for medical, religious or personal reasons.
Stephanie Schauers from the Wisconsin Department of Health says it's a simple piece of paper, that needs to be filled out by parents or doctors.
Checks are done by local schools to ensure students are compliant every thirty days. During each check-in, parents who have children needing vaccinations are sent warning letters. By three months into the school year, if the children are still non-compliant, they are \"excluded\" from school, or sent home for a period from three to ten days. The exclusion is not a punishment for either students or their parents. Rather, it's seen as a stern reminder to take action. If those students still are not compliant after the ten days of exclusion their case is sent to the district attorney for further review. That could lead to court dates and fines.
Susan Valeri with the Kenosha School District says their district does a good job of checking in on students. They have access to the Wisconsin and the Illinois online immunization database. The district has a 99% compliance rate, with 94% of those students vaccinated.
However, if a measles outbreak were to hit Kenosha, the district is prepared. Valeri says the district works with the county health department and would be notified if any of their students were in danger. At that point, the school would face many options, including exclusions for non-vaccinated students, sanitation of school buildings and even possible closure of schools for a short period of time, if the outbreak were to get that bad. Valeri believes students are very safe at the district and said they are prepared should measles make its way to Kenosha.
Ultimately, Schauers says the best protection for everyone is vaccination. She says it has proven to be effective and safe, and the science proves that. She says if parents do have any questions about the safety of vaccinations they should call their local health department.