Measles quarantines in effect at UCLA, CSU Los Angeles

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Posted at 2:50 PM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 19:50:11-04

LOS ANGELES (KGTV) - Los Angeles County health officials issued quarantine orders at UCLA and Cal State Los Angeles Wednesday due to cases of the measles.

A University of California, Los Angeles student who attended classes in early April was diagosed with measles, campus officials said.

UCLA notified 500 students, faculty and staff members who may have come into contact with the infected patient. By Thursday, most of the contacts were cleared as immune to the measles, but 119 students and eight faculty members were held to determine their immunity through medical records or a blood test, UCLA reported.

A person with measles reportedly visited North Library at CSU Los Angeles for a few hours, possibly exposing others, KABC reported.

Health officials said those at risk would remain in quarantine for 24-48 hours until their proof of immunity is established. Some may need to remain in quarantine for up to seven days, UCLA officials said.

Five cases of measles have recently been identified in Los Angeles County, health experts said. Four cases, classified as an outbreak, are linked to one international traveler, with a fifth unrelated case also connected to foreign travel.

Los Angeles County Health Officials identified other locations for potential measles exposure:

  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Tom Bradley International Terminal, arrived at Gate 218 on April 1 from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Franz Hall on April 2, 4, and 9 and Boelter Hall on April 2 and 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 6 :00 p.m.
  • California State University, Los Angeles, Main Library, on April 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • El Pollo Loco Restaurant, 1939 Verdugo Blvd, La Cañada Flintridge, on April 11 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • El Sauz Tacos, 4432 San Fernando Rd, Glendale, on April 13 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m..

There is no current risk of measles at the above venues at this time, Los Angeles County health officials reported.

Measles is a virus that can stay in the air up to two hours after an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also remain on surfaces, health officials said. The disease is especially dangerous because it can be spread before a patient has symptoms, or up to four days before any symptoms appear.

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

Statewide, the number of measles cases has increased so far in 2019 with much of the rise attributed to overseas travel.

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 last year. She says the state typically sees fewer than two dozen cases a year. Fourteen of those infected had traveled overseas to countries including Philippines, Thailand, India and Ukraine.

San Diego County has not had a case of measles since 2017, County Spokesperson José Álvarez told 10News. Health and Human Service Agency officials sent alerts to the medical community to be on the lookout for potential cases and report them immediately.

“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.

Associated Press contributed to this report.