PARMA -- School officials are taking proactive measures after students and staff at Parma High School may have been exposed to measles last week.

The possible exposure happened between April 28 and May 2.

Although school officials say a confirmation of a measles diagnosis will not be available until early next week, disinfection procedures are underway.

The school district is asking parents to keep their children home from school if they show any signs or symptoms of measles, which include fever, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite, conjunctivitis and a rash. The rash starts at the hairline before spreading to the face, trunk, arms and legs.

Measles is a highly contagious virus spread through the air by infectious droplets.

In the event that this becomes a confirmed case, school officials say all those who have not received a measles vaccination will need to be excluded from school until 21 days after rash onset in the last case of measles. Immediate re-admission into school is permitted once a vaccination is received.

Health officials recommend the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine in the following situations:

  • Lack of written documentation of two doses of MMR vaccine.
  • Have written documentation of only one dose of MMR. It is necessary that you obtain a second dose.
  • Were born before 1957 and do not have written proof that you had a case of the measles.

Anybody with additional questions or concerns is asked to call the Cuyahoga County Board of Health at (216) 201-2080.

Pregnant and immunocompromised individuals who may have been exposed are advised to contact their physician immediately.