Auckland schools that have been hit by measles are starting to let students return to classes as vaccination efforts are stepped up.
Manurewa High School, which had half of its 2000 students absent last week after 14 students were confirmed with measles, is now asking students to return to school except for a group of more than 300 unimmunised students who have been asked to stay away for the one-week quarantine period.
Principal Pete Jones said some of the 700 or so who stayed home on their own volition last week have returned, although he will not have numbers until later today.
He is meeting with Counties Manukau District Health Board officials today to arrange a clinic at the school tomorrowto vaccinate unimmunised students.
"The notification we sent out on Friday was to come back today unless you have been quarantined," he said. "We are in the process of chasing down with whānau if they are not here today."
Rowandale School, also in Manurewa, had 170 of its 610 students away two weeks ago after a teacher caught the disease, but now has all its students and staff back at school.
"We have hopefully got over it," said principal Karl Vasau.
Clendon Park School principal Sue Dawson said eight of her students had contracted measles but four have returned to school and no other students are still in quarantine.
"We have been very successful in getting frequent messages out to our community via our Facebook page to give advice, information on the stages of measles, where the free clinics are, etc," she said.
"Also we have cancelled all team and whole school assemblies, group sporting activities, etc so we can keep this contained. Our last case was notified on Monday last week."
Finlayson Park School principal Shirley Maihi said three of her students had measles but she was not asking others to stay away.
"Today we are going through our records as far as we can to find out who is not immunised, and we have come up with six people who are not immunised out of 1011 students," she said.
"We are contacting those parents today by phone and telling them to get immunised."
She said one family did not believe in vaccination but she would not stop their children attending school.
"We have a hard enough time getting our kids to school anyway, I'm not telling them to stay home," she said.
Monica Johnson of McAuley High School in Ōtāhuhu said she had also had three measles cases and 90 students stayed at home last week, but all but about six were back at school today.
Aorere College said it had one or two suspected cases, and James Cook High School said it had one confirmed case but had not asked students to stay away.
Waimahia Intermediate said it had no current cases and no students away, although unimmunised students were getting vaccinated today at a free clinic at the Clendon KidzFirst office.
Manurewa and Greenmeadows Intermediates have both had no cases yet.
"It's weird, as the Manurewa High kids are likely to be related to ours, but nothing - touch wood," said Manurewa Intermediate principal Iain Taylor.
However, Papatoetoe High School principal Vaughan Couillault said he had one confirmed case of measles and has told 28 students to stay at home until they can prove that they have been immunised.
"Their quarantine period runs until Friday unless they can prove it beforehand," he said.
Marist College in Mt Albert has one confirmed measles case and principal Raechelle Taulu said she had "several students away from school, all for a variety of reasons including those that are quarantined for measles".
Meanwhile, Auckland Medical Officer of Health Dr William Rainger said a partner of a St Peter's College student who was reported to have come down with measles after attending the St Peter's ball on Saturday night had not yet been confirmed to have the disease.
"At this point, the Medical Officer of Health is not asking that unvaccinated students stay home," he said.
"If the case is confirmed, students attending the ball will not be contagious until the weekend. Any quarantine period would start on Saturday September 7."
More than 50 Auckland schools in the region have had measles this year and the Regional Public Health Service is encouraging all students and adults aged up to 50 to check their immunity.