Students Without Measles Vaccines Kept out of 2 IE High Schools

"We're trying to prevent a second wave of cases," said a local health official

As classes resume in two Inland Empire high schools for the week, some students will be conspicuously absent -- kept out over public health concerns.

Riverside County Health officials barred over 100 students from Palm Desert and Vista Murrieta high school campuses last week because the students had no measles vaccination records.

Each school had a confirmed case of measles, a highly infectious virus currently spreading through California, which had 91 confirmed cases as of Jan. 30.

Measles can be prevented through vaccinations, but some parents have opted out of vaccinating their children. Some believe the vaccine can be harmful.

Health and school officials are hoping that preventing students without the vaccine from coming to school will ensure they aren't exposed to measles.

"We're trying to prevent a second wave of cases," Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr.
Cameron Kaiser said in a statement on Wednesday.

An employee at Vista Murrieta High School was recently diagnosed with measles, prompting officials to keep about 40 students without vaccination records out of school until Feb. 7. That follows 70 students kept out of Palm Desert High School after a student was diagnosed with the virus.

Officials linked 58 of the 91 confirmed California cases to Disneyland theme parks, where the current outbreak is thought to have begun.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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