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LA universities quarantine students, staff over measles outbreak

By Nicholas Sakelaris
LA universities quarantine students, staff over measles outbreak
UCLA issued a quarantine as a safeguard against exposure to the measles virus. Photo by brent/{link:Wikimedia Commons :"https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode"}

April 26 (UPI) -- Two major universities in Los Angeles have quarantined hundreds of unvaccinated students and faculty due to concerns about the measles outbreak in the United States.

The Los Angeles branches of the University of California and California State University imposed the quarantine -- which bars from campus all students and staff who can't furnish proof of vaccination -- after several people tested positive for the highly contagious measles virus. The schools said they're trying to identify anyone the infected persons may have exposed.

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"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," Cal State Los Angeles said in a statement. "This will be enforced by a Health Officer Order."

The school said an exposure to the virus may have occurred in one of its libraries April 11.

RELATED 'Anti-vax' parents a major factor in measles outbreaks, U.N. report says

UCLA said 119 people were isolated at its campus Wednesday. Forty-three were readmitted after proving immunity Thursday, but school officials said the rest could remain under quarantine for days.

"We have arranged for students to be cared for at UCLA while they are quarantined," the school said in a statement.

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The scare comes as the United States this year is dealing its highest number of measles cases since the virus was declared eradicated in 2000. Most of the cases are in New York and Washington state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. California has a total of 38 recorded measles cases so far this year.

RELATED 71 new measles cases push U.S. closer to record level

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said the most recent known exposure to the virus was April 9.

"The highest risk period for developing measles has already passed -- and the period during which symptoms may appear is nearing the end," he said.

RELATED Judge dismisses case against New York City's measles vaccination order

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