Monday September 23, 2019

Even After Three Days, Nearly 700 Still in Measles Quarantine in Los Angeles

The quarantines mark one of the most sweeping efforts by health officials to contain the nation’s measles outbreak, where cases have reached a 25-year high.

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A poster released by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is seen as experts answer questions regarding the measles response and the quarantine orders in Los Angeles, April 26, 2019. VOA

Nearly 700 people possibly exposed to measles at two Los Angeles universities are still quarantined three days after health officials ordered the precautions to contain the spread of the highly contagious disease.

A spokesman for California State University, Los Angeles, said Saturday that 106 staff members and 550 students have been told to stay at home and avoid contact with others.

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People move about the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, April 26, 2019. Some students and employees possibly exposed to measles at two Los Angeles universities were still quarantined on campus or told to stay home Friday, but the number was dwindling. VOA

Thirty students and employees from the University of California, Los Angeles, remain quarantined.

Those under quarantine were possibly exposed to a person with measles on each campus earlier this month.

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Thirty students and employees from the University of California, Los Angeles, remain quarantined. Pixabay

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Many people have been cleared after proving their immunity with medical records or tests.

The quarantines mark one of the most sweeping efforts by health officials to contain the nation’s measles outbreak, where cases have reached a 25-year high. (VOA)

Next Story

US’s Worst Measles Epidemic in 27 Years to be in Its Final Stages as No New Cases Reported

“To get to zero is tremendously encouraging,” said Jason Schwartz, a Yale University expert on vaccination policy

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File - A woman receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., north of New York City, March 27, 2019. VOA

The nation’s worst measles epidemic in 27 years could be in its final stages as a week went by with no new reported cases.

“To get to zero is tremendously encouraging,” said Jason Schwartz, a Yale University expert on vaccination policy.

The current epidemic emerged about a year ago and took off earlier this year, with most of the cases reported in Orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City. It started with travelers who had become infected overseas but spread quickly among unvaccinated people.

In the spring, 70 or more new cases were being reported every week. Not long ago, the nation that saw that many measles cases in a whole year.

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The nation’s worst measles epidemic in 27 years could be in its final stages as a week went by with no new reported cases. Pixabay

So far this year, 1,241 cases have been confirmed — a number that didn’t rise last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday. The last time the CDC reported no new measles cases was 11 months ago.

New York officials responded to the explosion of measles cases with a wave of measures, including education campaigns to counter misinformation about vaccine safety and fines for people who didn’t get vaccinated.

The epidemic has threatened the Unites States’ nearly 2-decade-old status as a nation that has eliminated measles. The status could come to an end if the disease spreads among Americans for a year or more. Other countries, including Greece and the United Kingdom, recently lost their elimination status amid a global surge in the disease.

Measles outbreaks are typically declared over when 42 days pass without a new infection. If no new cases crop up, the national outbreak would likely end on or about Sept. 30 — just before officials might have to decide on the U.S. elimination status.

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The loss of elimination status in the U.S. could take the steam out of measles vaccination campaigns in other countries, said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert.

Health ministers around the world might say, “Why should we strive for elimination? We’ll just do the best we can to control measles, but we won’t go the extra several miles to get to zero,” Schaffner said. (VOA)