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Students at Fleetwood Park Secondary School in Surrey, B.C., are being told to stay away from class if their measles immunization is not up to date.

The warning comes from the Fraser Health authority in response to a possible measles exposure at the school between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2.

A letter posted on the school’s website from the authority advises that students or staff who were born in 1970 or later will not be allowed to return to the school until Nov 26 if they have not been vaccinated against measles.

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Those who have had one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine will be allowed at school only if they attend a free clinic Thursday or Friday to bring their immunization up to the required two doses.

The health authority says all those who been vaccinated or who have had measles are protected against the contagious virus that is spread through the air and, in its simplest form, causes rash, fever, red eyes, cough and a runny nose.

Symptoms can start from seven to 21 days after exposure and the health authority’s letter says public health officials should be alerted right away if any measles symptoms develop during that period.

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