Over 1,000 quarantined in measles scare at LA universities


UCLA said 127 students and faculty are being held while they await medical records to determine whether they're immune to the illness.

"Like, I've been itchy and I'm like, 'do I have measles?' I've been super anxious", said Sarah Kiamanesh, a UCLA student.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, state public health officials urged Californians to make sure they had been vaccinated against measles before traveling, especially to global destinations.

The quarantine affects 198 Cal State LA employees who were at the library, including 71 employees who are also students, the university statement said.

At UCLA, 119 students and eight staff members who were exposed to measles at the campus earlier this month and could not provide proof of immunity were ordered quarantined on Wednesday, the university said in a statement.

ROTT: Annie Cui, Sam Suman and Riley Wilson say they have all been vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for everyone over a year old, except for people who had the disease as children.

Cal State said 156 students and staff who may have been exposed to an infected student were quarantined.

Measles symptoms include high fever, a cough and a rash. So unless they can dig up records, people exposed to the virus could remain in quarantine until April 30 for UCLA and May 2 for Cal State L.A.

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"We have arranged for those who live on campus to be cared for at UCLA while they are quarantined", UCLA chancellor Gene Block said in a statement.

"We're very anxious about measles", Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, state public health officials on Thursday urged Californians to make sure they have been vaccinated against measles before traveling, especially to worldwide locations.

Dr Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health, says the state recorded 38 measles cases as of Thursday, versus 11 around the same time a year ago. In 2015, the California university system created a rule requiring students to be fully vaccinated before enrolling at campus, but they did not begin enforcing that regulation until a year ago.

Quarantine for measles can last up to 21 days from the date of the most exposure to the virus, health officials said.

Another 660 people who were confirmed to have visited the library during an exposure period were also contacted on Thursday and given a blanket quarantine order, and of those, 445 remain under the order.

The number of measles cases in the US has climbed to almost 700 this year, including five in Los Angeles County and 38 altogether in California. In a media advisory issued today, public health officials said the number of confirmed measles cases in LA County remains at five.

Ferrar says her agency is rapidly clearing people, a job made easier by laws requiring incoming students to have proof of vaccination at the UC's and the Cal States.

For many, the measles exposure at the University has affected their work and school schedules. "Make sure you and your family are fully immunized before traveling internationally". While it is nearly a two-fold increase since the previous week, the number pales in comparison with the tree-digit figures from NY state.