Measles outbreak: Santa Monica child center reopens, is scrutinizing babies

A Santa Monica High School child-care center has reopened after a sudden closure earlier this week spurred by an infant's measles diagnosis.

But parents returning to the Samohi Infant/Toddler Center have to show proof that their baby has taken a blood test confirming immunity to measles -- or the child is still out for a 21-day waiting period.


Fourteen infants too young to be immunized, including the baby with the diagnosed case, were placed on home watch until Feb. 20.

With the reopening of the center Friday, parents were required to show proof of a baby's protection with a blood test and a special form from a doctor.

"If they choose not to go through the trouble" of getting the test and the form, "they can return after 21 days," said Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District spokeswoman Gail Pinsker. "If they want to come back within a 21-day period, they have to provide that form."

Parents can still waive immunizations. But any child with a waiver will -- like the 14 infants -- have to complete the 21-day period before returning, Pinsker said.

The center on the Santa Monica High campus was shut down Monday after a child younger than 12 months was diagnosed with measles.

The California measles outbreak poses a special danger to babies of this age as the first MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) shot is not administered until a child is 12 to 15 months old. The second dose of MMR is administered at 4 to 6 years old.

Center staff also have to show proof of two MMR immunizations to measles, or they will have to provide proof of having taken the blood test that shows immunity.

The measles case is the second one confirmed on the high school campus in recent weeks. The first involved a baseball coach.

"There have not been any additional cases in the infant/toddler center or anywhere on our campuses, which is great," Pinsker said.

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