Clallam County health officials are quarantining unvaccinated students at a private Christian school near Port Angeles after a 5-year-old kindergartner was diagnosed with measles and doctors feared it would spread.

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Clallam County health officials are quarantining unvaccinated students at a private Christian school near Port Angeles after a 5-year-old kindergartner was diagnosed with measles and doctors feared it would spread.

Students at Olympic Christian School who cannot show proof of immunity to the disease have been excluded from class and ordered to remain home, avoid public places and have no contact with anyone susceptible to measles until Feb. 27, according to a statement released late Friday by the county health department.

According to state health records, there are 115 students at the school, where nearly 16 percent of children have documents on file exempting them from required vaccinations. That means about 18 students could be subject to the quarantine.

The girl, who was not vaccinated, was diagnosed with measles on Thursday after she showed up at the Peninsula Children’s Clinic in Port Angeles — and exposed other children in the waiting room, said Dr. Tom Locke, health officer for Clallam and Jefferson counties.

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Babies too young to be vaccinated and older unvaccinated children were given emergency inoculations late Thursday after the case was confirmed. More cases are possible, Locke said.

“We are making strenuous efforts to get the word out that people who have been exposed to measles should let us know,” Locke said. “We want to see them, but we want them to call in first.”

The child’s illness marks the fifth measles case in Washington state this year, and joins a growing national tally of at least 125 cases in 17 states and Washington, D.C. Experts say the country is on track to exceed last year’s total of 644 cases, the highest number since the disease was considered eradicated in the U.S. in 2000.

Health officials are reaching out to anyone who may have had contact with the girl, who was considered contagious from Feb. 7 through Feb. 14.

“We’re always concerned when measles occurs in a school-aged child,” he said. “Especially with the rates of measles immunization as low as they are.”

In Clallam County, about 7.2 percent of all school children were exempt from vaccinations in the 2013-2014 school year, state figures show, meaning their parents submitted signed forms citing medical, religious or personal reasons for not immunizing their kids. Nearby Jefferson County has a 12.8 exemption rate.

The 5-year-old had direct contact with a 52-year-old Port Angeles man who was hospitalized with measles last month, officials said. The man traveled to several sites in Clallam and King counties while he was contagious from Monday, Jan. 26 to Friday, Jan. 30.

Neither of those cases is linked to the outbreak that started at Disneyland in Southern California. At least 113 people have been infected in that state, most tied to the theme-park outbreak.

Measles can linger in the air for an hour or more. An estimated 90 percent of people who aren’t immune to measles will catch the disease if they’re exposed.

Most people are immune to measles, either because they had the disease or have been vaccinated. If babies younger than 1 are exposed to the virus, they can be given a dose of immune globulin, a substance made from human-blood plasma that contains antibodies that protect against disease.

Older children and adults who have not been vaccinated can receive a dose of measles vaccine within 72 hours of exposure and get some protection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.