A dozen students at St. Stephen Catholic School have been told to stay home from class for a week and a half because they’re not immunized against measles, the disease a student from their school contracted while abroad.

Ottawa Public Health said Wednesday a primary student at St. Stephen Catholic School in Stittsville had been diagnosed with measles after returning from the Philippines.

On Friday, Ottawa Public Health confirmed 12 students from that school had been told to stay home on Thursday until March 18 because they were unimmunized or exempt from immunization for philosophical, religious or medical reasons.


Students in Ottawa can be exempted from getting the measles vaccination for philosophical, medical or religious reasons.

An immunization check that came after the student went to class, but before their diagnosis, revealed this group of students.

The students are not suspended, but Ottawa's chief medical officer of health has the power to keep students from attending class in these types of situations.

Students should only miss two days of school, because Friday is a personal development day in Ottawa schools then it's March Break.

Health officials are warning that the student with measles visited the Med-Team Clinic at 103-99 Kakulu Road on Feb. 25.

Two days later the child was taken to the Active Care Clinic on 1108 Klondike Road after a rash developed.

On Feb. 28 the child was brought to CHEO's emergency department.

People who aren’t immunized against measles are being urged by Ottawa Public Health to do so.

Measles is a disease caused by a virus that can lead to ear infections, pneumonia, swelling of the brain and even death, and is more severe in adults and infants.