27 April 2019 - 17:15
News ID: 444500
More than 1,000 students and staff members at two universities in Los Angeles, California, were quarantined on campus or sent home this week as the United States battles the highest number of measles cases since the country declared the virus eliminated in 2000.

RNA - The action at the University of University of California, Los Angeles, and California State University, Los Angeles — which together have more than 65,000 students — is one of the most sweeping efforts yet by public health authorities to contain the spread of measles in the US.

Those under the quarantine were instructed to stay at home and avoid contact with others. They also were barred from traveling by public transportation, including planes, trains, buses or taxis. If they must travel for an emergency, they were told to notify public health officials first.

Anyone who violates it could be prosecuted, said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. She didn’t describe what penalties those who don’t could face.

By Friday afternoon, two days after Los Angeles County ordered the precautions, about 325 of those affected had been cleared to return after proving their immunity to the disease, through either medical records or tests, health officials said.

“Measles actually kills people, so we have to take that really seriously,” said Dr. Armand Dorian, chief medical officer at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, California.

Given the amount of time a person can remain contagious, officials said the quarantine would end at UCLA on Thursday.

Across the US, officials in the states of California, New York, Washington and Oregon have responded to the outbreak by moving to crack down on exemptions to vaccinating children.

The United States has confirmed 695 cases of measles, the highest number since 2000, as of Wednesday. Many of the case occurred in the states of New York and Washington.

The virus can lead to deadly complications, but no measles deaths have been reported in the latest US outbreak.


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