Over 1,000 quarantined in measles scare at Los Angeles universities

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"Staff and students at Cal State LA who may have been exposed to measles were being cleared Friday afternoon, after initially receiving quarantine orders from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health".

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.

Those students and university employees - 280 total people - were ordered to stay home, avoid contact with others and notify public health officials if they develop symptoms.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement the university moved quickly to respond to potential exposure cases - contacting over 500 students and staff and setting up care at campus hospitals - after being contacted by LA health officials April 22.

At UCLA, only 27 people remained quarantined.

Dozens of people at two California universities have been quarantined as U.S. health officials battle to stop the spread of a nationwide measles outbreak, authorities said on Thursday.

The revision in numbers came because "people who were potentially exposed have been coming to our Student Health Center in stages since Thursday morning to be screened", spokesman Robert Lopez said.

The university did not say how many people were affected by the quarantine.

However, officials determined that a Cal State LA student who had contracted measles entered the campus library on April 11, 2019, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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The CDC says states that have reported cases are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada (Clark County), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

According to the CDC, the high number of measles cases in 2019 is primarily the result of a few large outbreaks - one in Washington State and two large outbreaks in NY that started in late 2018. Most of those cases have been in unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities.

Officials said the quarantine would end at UCLA on Tuesday and at California State University on Thursday.

Measles in most people causes fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body.

The CDC says, in the USA, the disease killed hundreds of people and hospitalized 48,000 each year, before the first measles vaccine became available in 1963.

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection which can be spread through the air, on surfaces and person-to-person.

"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.

The quarantines affect University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA), and comes as the United States battles the highest number of measles cases since the country declared the virus eliminated in 2000. "Make sure you and your family are fully vaccinated before traveling internationally". California had reported 38 measles cases as of Thursday.

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