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Measles Quarantines Students at Two Major Universities


By Dan Hounsell Emergency Preparedness
measles rash

Facility managers in institutional and commercial facilities understand the threat a communicable disease can pose to building occupants, visitors and operations. But while an actual outbreak is relatively rare, especially outside of a health care setting, an actual event can test even the best-laid emergency preparedness plans, as managers in two Los Angeles universities are finding out.

Hundreds of students and faculty at the two universities were asked to stay home last week unless they can prove that they've been vaccinated against measles, according to CNN.

The Los Angeles campuses of the University of California (UCLA) and California State University imposed the quarantines after they became aware of people infected with measles who had potentially exposed hundreds. At UCLA, a student exposed at least 500 people earlier this month; at Cal State, someone with measles went to a library and encountered hundreds.

The LA County Department of Public Health notified UCLA that one of its students had contracted measles. After identifying people the infected student might have come in contact with while contagious, the school asked them to provide proof of immunization, and 119 people who could not provide proof were quarantined.

At Cal State, 156 library employees, some of them students, were quarantined after they could not provide their immunization records, The Associated Press reported.

Dan Hounsell is editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

 

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