Monday morning started like any other at Birmingham’s Derby Middle School, where school officials confirmed a student with the measles attended classes on March 29 while potentially contagious.
Buses pulled up along the circle drive, and a stream of cars dropped off students returning to school after a week of spring break. The Pledge of Allegiance was read over the school’s intercom system, and then came an announcement about the measles.
“You’re welcome to connect with your parents about it,” said the voice on the intercom system. “This is not something that we necessarily make decisions about. We have to follow the guidelines that are set by Oakland County. If you have any questions, we encourage you to talk to your parents.”
The Derby Middle School student who contracted the virus is just one case in a widening Michigan measles outbreak that has infected 41 people so far this year in the state, affecting people ranging in age from 8 months old to 63 years old.
In a statement released to the Free Press on Monday, Birmingham Public Schools said it is following guidelines from the Oakland County Health Division in requiring students who are not vaccinated and those who are under-vaccinated to stay home from school for 21 days after the date of exposure to try to limit the spread of the highly contagious virus.
The best protection against the measles, health officials say, is two documented doses of the measles, mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine.
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