Measles quarantine orders at 2 LA universities

Henrietta Strickland
April 26, 2019

Roughly three-quarters of this year's illnesses in the US have been in NY state.

UCLA officials learned from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) on Monday that a student "had contracted the measles", and had been on campus while contagious, the university said in a statement Wednesday.

More than 300 students and faculty members at two Los Angeles universities have been placed under a quarantine order, after they were exposed to measles and were not able to verify they had been vaccinated or have immunity.

Those quarantined will be required to remain at their residence and notify officials if they develop symptoms of measles while avoiding contact with others until the end of their quarantine period or until they provide evidence of immunity, the California Department of Public Health said. Those who have had measles are immune. A few may need to remain in quarantine for up to seven days. "Please be assured that we have the resources we need for prevention and treatment, and that we are working very closely with local public health officials on the matter". By Thursday afternoon, 43 of them had been released after proving they had been vaccinated.

A person with measles reportedly visited North Library at CSU Los Angeles for a few hours, possibly exposing others, KABC reported. One hundred and ninety-eight of them could not provide their immunization records, according to a statement from the university.

The CDC says people in 22 states have the virus, six states have multiple cases; David Lee Miller reports. The state recorded 38 measles cases as of Thursday; there were 11 around the same time past year, said Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health.

Asmall outbreak of measles is occurring in Los Angeles County involving five confirmed cases linked to overseas travel. Fourteen of those infected had travelled overseas to countries including Philippines, Thailand, India and Ukraine.

"The best way to protect yourself and to prevent the spread of measles is to get the measles immunization, with two doses of measles immunization being about 97% effective at preventing measles", said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. However, a very small fraction of those infected can suffer complications such as pneumonia and a unsafe swelling of the brain.

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 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

About 90 percent of people who have never been immunized against measles become ill 7-21 days after exposure, health officials said.

Separately, California State University, Los Angeles issued an update Thursday about a "potential exposure" at the library between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on April 11.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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