A graduate student at UC Irvine has contracted Orange County’s second confirmed case of measles this year, school officials said Saturday.
“Yesterday evening, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) notified UCI’s Student Health Center leaders that one of our graduate students has a confirmed case of the measles,” Chancellor Howard Gillman wrote in an online letter to “the UCI community” posted Saturday morning.
Gillman said school officials were informed that the student attended classes or was present while contagious at the following locations and time periods last week:
— Mon., April 29 – Humanities Instructional Building 100, 10 a.m.-noon;
— Mon., April 29 – Krieger Hall, Classic Dept. 4th Floor, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.;
— Tues., April 30 – Humanities Hall 112, 2-5 p.m.;
— Thurs., May 2 – UCI Student Health Center, 1-3 p.m.
“The student did not enter any other buildings while on campus and will remain at home in Los Angeles County for several days,” Gillman’s letter continued.
“I want to assure you that campus health experts have been working closely with local public health officials to ensure that notifications are made and proper care is provided to all who might be affected. We are currently notifying students, faculty and staff who may have been exposed, providing them with information about treatment and prevention.
“While some students visiting the Student Health Center yesterday have been cleared, we are still identifying and gathering medical histories for those who may have been in contact with this individual. Those who were in the affected areas described above are encouraged to determine their measles immunity through their health records or medical provider.
“I know there is concern about measles, particularly among the small percentage of our community who may not be vaccinated. Please be assured that we have the resources we need for prevention and treatment, and that we are working closely with local public health officials to address this issue. Students who are concerned about their immunity status should visit the Student Health Center, while faculty and staff should contact their medical providers.”
Last week, the OCHCA announced the county’s first case of measles this year. A Placentia woman in her 20s told officials she had been traveling internationally recently to one of many countries struggling with widespread measles outbreaks. She was considered infectious between April 23 and Friday.
The woman, whose name was not released, voluntarily quarantined herself at home, according to the HCA, but not before visiting multiple places locally, so officials are concerned others may have contracted the highly infectious illness.
Potential locations and times in which the public may have been exposed to the measles, according to the HCA are:
— 5 Hutton Centre Drive, Santa Ana, April 23-25 from 7:45 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. daily;
— St. Jude Emergency Department, 101 E. Valencia Mesa Drive, Fullerton, April 27, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and
— AMC movie theater, 1001 S. Lemon St., Fullerton, April 25 from 11 p.m. through April 26 at 4 a.m.
Anyone who visited any of those locations during those times should review their vaccination history. Those who have not had measles or the preventive vaccine are at higher risk after an exposure, and should talk with a health care provider about receiving a Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination.
Health officials also say to self-monitor for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after exposure. If symptoms develop, stay at home and call a health care provider immediately.
Measles is on the uptick in the country and internationally. Seven cases have been confirmed ion Los Angeles County.
“Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes,” said Dr. Nichole Quick, Orange County’s interim health officer. “It spreads very easily by air and by direct contact with an infected person, and is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. The MMR vaccine is a simple, inexpensive, and very effective measure to prevent the spread of this serious virus.”
Residents with questions about the measles are encouraged to call the HCA’s health referral line at 800-564-8448.
For more information about measles and vaccines, visit: cdc.gov/measles, or ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/dcepi/epi/dip/prevention/measles.
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