20 May 2016

Measles closes fourth school

12:49 pm on 20 May 2016

Two schools in Levin have closed their doors because of measles, taking the nationwide number of schools closed by the disease to four.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccine, MMR,

Students and staff must prove they have been immunised before they will be allowed back to school. Photo: 123RF

Waiopehu College is closed today, and will reopen on Monday, after one of its students was confirmed to have contracted measles.

The student would have been infectious when he was most recently there last Friday.

And a second school, Levin Intermediate, closed today after a measles outbreak in the lower North Island town.

Waiopehu College's principal said the decision to close the school was made after advice from the Mid Central District Health Board, and students will only be allowed back on Monday if they can prove they have been vaccinated.

Levin Intermediate School said it was also working with the health board to decide whether to ask for proof of vaccinations before allowing pupils to return.

Waiopehu College's principal, Mark Robinson, told Morning Report no other students were infected.

"There is another member of the same family who is also confirmed with measles but the district health board know that that student was not at school during the period of infection so that's not a risk to us."

Mr Robinson said he did not know how many of his students were vaccinated, but he guessed it was a high proportion.

Twenty-two cases of measles have been confirmed in recent weeks, and two schools in the Waikato, Morrinsville College and Fairfield College are open again, but unvaccinated students are not allowed back until next week.

Mid Central District Health Board believes the two cases in its region are linked with the outbreak in Waikato.

Four cases of measles have been reported in Northland, and one in Nelson.

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