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Novlesville Schools Cancel Classes After Measles Scare

Last updated on Thursday, February 16, 2012

(NOBLESVILLE) - Noblesville Schools is canceling activities and cleaning buildings after a measles scare that’s spread across central Indiana.

Thirteen people in Hamilton and Boone counties have confirmed cases of the measles, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Two of the cases are Noblesville students - one at Noblesville Intermediate School and one at White River Elementary School, school officials said.
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After-school activities and practices were canceled district-wide Wednesday night to help prevent the spread of the highly contagious illness.

Fifty-four students from both schools who have not been immunized have been told they can't return to school until further notice.

"Any student that goes to White River Elementary School or any student that goes to Noblesville Intermediate School who does not have their measles vaccinations will be excluded from school as of today. As of tomorrow, they will not be allowed to attend school," said district spokesman Mark Booth.

On Wednesday, 250 teachers and staff members at both schools had to provide proof of immunization or have their blood drawn to confirm they do not have measles.

Clinics will be set up at both schools Thursday to vaccinate students.

"I'm staying home. I'm not going to get out. I don't want any part in that," one student said.

"I just missed a bunch of school, and I can't miss really anymore," another student said. "If I get the measles, it'll be pretty bad."

District officials said all buildings will be thoroughly cleaned overnight, along with the buses the infected students are believed to have been riding.

Health officials said all of the cases appear to be connected and released a list of places individuals may have been exposed to the highly contagious virus:

* Delphi Electronics & Safety, Kokomo - Feb. 1-Feb. 9

* Hartley Funeral Home, Cicero - Jan. 25 and Jan. 26

* Kroger on West Logan Street, Noblesville - Feb. 10

* Walmart on Clover Road, Noblesville - Feb. 10

* College Park Church, Indianapolis - Jan. 1, Jan. 15 and ongoing

* Indianapolis Grace Ethiopian Church/Westlake Community Church, Indianapolis - Jan. 8

* Noblesville Intermediate School - Feb. 9

* White River Elementary School - Feb. 13

* Ivy Tech Community College, Anderson Campus - Jan. 26, Jan. 31 and Feb. 2

A number of health care clinics in Zionsville, Fishers and Noblesville were also included on the list with multiple dates in January and February, including Saint Vincent Primary Care clinics, Indiana University Primary Care clinics and a Community Hospital Immediate Care Center.

College Park Church leaders have told their 4,000 members, if they aren't immunized, they should stay home.

"(Infected individuals) were here in attendance and, therefore, several of our people were exposed," said Executive Pastor Bill Dinsmore. "We care very much about our people, and our main concern was how can we keep this from spreading as quickly as possible."

At least two of those who have fallen ill also visited Super Bowl Village together in downtown Indianapolis two days before the game, but health officials said there have been no confirmed measles cases from that exposure.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that begins with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes seven to 10 days after exposure. The fever increases and a rash starts on the face and upper neck two to four days later, eventually spreading across the body.

Droplets from a sneeze or cough spray into the air and can remain active and contagious for up to two hours.

Health officials said measles is rare in the United States because of high levels of vaccination with the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine.

Children are routinely vaccinated for measles at 1 year old and again before entering kindergarten. Those born before 1957 are presumed to be immune to measles.

Measles poses a serious threat to unvaccinated infants, people with diseases affecting their immune systems and pregnant women.

Those experiencing the symptoms of measles are asked to stay home and consult a doctor.

The Indiana State Department of Health has established a hotline to help answer questions from the general public from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily at 877-826-0011.

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