Hundreds of students suspended from school for inadequate immunizations
Published Wednesday, March 26, 2014 11:13AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 26, 2014 7:23PM EDT
More than 500 students across Waterloo Region were sent home from school Wednesday because they were not up to date on their vaccinations.
Nearly 2,000 students received suspension orders last week.
That was before a case of measles was confirmed in the region Wednesday.
Region of Waterloo Public Health says a University of Waterloo student acquired the illness during a recent trip to Europe.
While infectious, the student attended a psychology class at Waterloo (section 292) and used a Grand River Transit bus in the King/University area.
Both exposures occurred Feb. 25 between 10 and 11 a.m.
No other cases have been confirmed.
"We haven't seen any secondary cases and we would have expected secondary cases to appear by March 18," said Kristy Shute of Waterloo Region Public Health.
Common symptoms include a cough, runny nose and fever, followed by a high fever and red rash within two to four days.
Most Waterloo Region residents are believed to be immunized against measles – which is highly contagious among unimmunized populations.
Yet many younger students don’t know if their vaccinations are up to date. They are required to provide proof of immunization from their elementary school.
"A student will be suspended from school if not adequately immunized,” says Shute.
That suspension will last 20 days.
The region’s health unit is providing immunization clinics for students in both Waterloo and Cambridge who need to update their vaccinations.