Published: Sun, April 28, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Students And Staff At LA Universities Quarantined Over Measles Fears

Students And Staff At LA Universities Quarantined Over Measles Fears

More than 300 students, faculty and staff at UCLA and Cal State University, Los Angeles were under quarantine while health officials work to determine if they have been vaccinated, the universities said.

The order was issued at UCLA and Cal State LA for students and staff exposed to a confirmed case of measles and who can not prove they have been vaccinated against the highly contagious disease.

In a Health Watch update issued by Cal State LA on Thursday afternoon, administrators explained, "When Public Health identifies a person who has been exposed to measles and does not have written verification of two vaccination doses, they will be subject to quarantine of up to 21 days from the date of exposure".

UCLA officials said Friday only one student remains quarantined on campus due to possible measles exposure, while less than 50 students and faculty "have elected to self-isolate" at home.

The quarantine orders apply only to those who may have come in contact with the virus and can not show documented proof of vaccinations.

Although the disease was eliminated from the country in 2000, meaning the virus was no longer continually present year-round, outbreaks still happen via travelers coming from countries where measles is common, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Seventy-one students and 127 staff members are quarantined at CSULA after a possible measles exposure at a campus library, school officials told KTLA.

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A person with measles reportedly visited a library at CSU Los Angeles for a few hours, possibly exposing others.

Measles symptoms include high fever, a cough and a rash.

Health officials at a news conference repeatedly urged people who haven't been exposed to measles to get vaccinated, saying the vaccine is safe and effective. After identifying people the infected student might have come in contact with while contagious, the school asked them to provide proof of immunization.

"We hope that those notified will be quarantined for approximately 24 to 48 hours until their immunity test is established", Block said. "The Department of Public Health has determined that there is no known current risk related to measles at the library at this time". Some people may need to be quarantined for up to a week. They also were barred from traveling by public transportation, including planes, trains, buses or taxis.

ROTT: Dr. Karen Smith is the director of the California Department of Public Health. "That increase is part of a global trend seen over the past few years as other countries struggle with declining vaccination rates and may be exacerbating the situation here", the CDC said. The university's authorities raised the alarm over a potential outbreak of the highly infectious disease on its campuses after it was discovered that one of the students was contagious when going to classes early April.

"I know there is concern about measles, particularly among the very small percentage of our community who have not been vaccinated", UCLA Chancellor Block said. "Make sure you and your family are fully immunized before traveling internationally". Roughly three-quarters of this year's illnesses in the US have been in NY state.

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