More than 200 college students and students in Los Angeles were given a quarantine order on Wednesday and Thursday, just days after a rubella outbreak was declared in Los Angeles County
U.C.L.A. and California State University, Los Angeles, have been working with county health officials to identify and contact students and employees who may have been exposed to this year's measles
Those at risk of having contracted measles were given health officer orders – legal orders issued by county officials – to stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible
"At this point, 127 staff members and 71 student employees have been sent home under a quarantine order," the university said in an emailed statement on Thursday evening
At UCLA, a student who had contractled measles attended classes in two university buildings on April 2, 4 and 9 while contagious, Chancellor Gene D. Block said in a statement on Wednesday
"Upon learningin g of this incident, U.C.L.A. immediately identified and notified more than 500 students, faculty and staff with whom the student may have come into contact or who may have been otherwise exposed, "Dr. Block said.
He added that most of these people were cleared, but 119 students and eight faculty members did not have the necessary medical records immediately available, so county officials issued quarantine orders on Wednesday
"We have arranged for those who live on the campus to be cared for at UCLA while they are quarantined, "the statement added.
"We expect the trend to continue as more people provide proof of immunization or are shown by tests to have immunity to measles," the university said.
Quarantine orders can last up to 21 days from the date of possible exposure. The quarantine period for U.C.L.A. ending on April 30, and the one for California State-Los Angeles, ends on May 2, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said Thursday
The department believes additional rubella exposures may have occurred this month at Los Angeles International Airport and at several restaurants near Glendale.
Measles is an extremely contagious virus that can cause serious respiratory symptoms, rash and fever. In some cases, especially in babies and young children, the consequences can be severe. Pneumonia and encephalitis – the swelling of the brain – are the most common severe complications.
A single case of the measles can quickly spiral into an outbreak, especially since people may not know they have the illness for several weeks before they begin to show symptoms
People who contract a measles often seek medical care at hospitals, where they can potentially transmit the disease to other patients, especially those with compromised immune systems. Infants typically do not receive measles vaccinations until they are about 1 year old and therefore are highly vulnerable.
Los Angeles is the most recent metropolitan area to be hit by measles, as part of the most recent metropolitan area, a national surge in cases. On Wednesday, federal health officials said that the number of cases of measles in the United States had risen to 695, the highest annual figure since the disease was declared "eliminated" in the country in 2000.
that they do not vaccinate their children, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has blamed "organizations that deliberately targeting these communities with inaccurate and misleading information about vaccines."