Nearly 300 students and staff at two major southern California universities are under quarantine after potentially being exposed to measles. The order was issued in connection with the University of California, Los Angeles, and California State University, Los Angeles. According to a statement from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, both universities are assisting with the implementation of quarantine orders and determining how to best support students who must be quarantined that live on campus.
Reports show that there may have been exposure to measles at Cal State LA at Library North on April 11, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Seventy one students and 127 staff members who might have been exposed have been sent home under quarantine orders. The quarantines are expected to last 24 to 48 hours until proof of immunity is established.
At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a student contagious with measles attended classes for three days at Franz Hall and Boelter Hall. Officials at UCLA said 76 students and six faculty are being quarantined until medical records can prove their immunity. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block made the announcement in a letter to students and faculty.
The quarantines were ordered in an effort to try to prevent the spread of the disease. Measles is highly contagious and can spread through the air. Symptoms of the illness may include fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, and a rash of red spots.
The students and university employees are being ordered to stay home, avoid contact with others, and notify public health officials if they develop symptoms. Dr. Muntu Davis, a health officer at the L.A. County Department of Public Health, said, “You need to stay at a specified location, and you need to stay there until such time that you are deemed as not likely to come down with the disease.” Both UCLA and Cal State LA have said the buildings affected no longer pose a threat to students.