Measles!!!

By Amy Foster, Associate

Eichelbaum Wardell Hansen Powell & Mehl, P.C.

Texas is in the middle of the biggest measles outbreak in years. Across the nation, the 2019 outbreak is the largest (more than 681 reported cases, including at least 10 in Texas) in the United States since the year 2000, when the disease was declared eliminated. Other infectious diseases that were considered rare, such as whooping cough, are also on the rise.  

It is important for school administrators to remember that they have a reporting requirement under Title 25 of the Texas Administrative Code found in Chapter 97, Communicable Diseases. Rule 97.2(d) requires school authorities, including a superintendent, principal, teacher, school health official, or counselor of a public or private school and the administrator or health official of a public or private institution of higher learning to report students attending school who are suspected of having a notifiable condition. School administrators who are not medical directors meeting the criteria described in §97.132 of this title (relating to Who Shall Report Sexually Transmitted Diseases) are exempt from reporting sexually transmitted diseases.

School staff are required to report to the local county health department if they become aware that a student may have one of the communicable diseases listed in Rule §97.7, Diseases Requiring Exclusion from Schools. The diseases required to be reported are:

A district may also need to consider if any students who are unvaccinated or otherwise immunocompromised need to be notified that a fellow student is suspected of having a communicable disease, while maintaining student confidentiality requirements under FERPA.  

If you have further concerns about the possibility of communicable diseases, remember that your county health department can be a great resource for public schools regarding these issues.  

Upcoming Trainings

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May–June 2019

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July 17, 2019

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Legal Issues for School Secretaries

Sept–Oct 2019

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Materials

2019-20 Contract Package

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Conducting Effective Investigations Manual

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Trustee Manual

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