While the country is in the midst of controversial debate about measles and vaccinations, more than a thousand students and staff were quarantined this week at two Los Angeles universities. This happened so that officials in the city could grapple with a measles outbreak.
The quarantines took place at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and California State University, Los Angeles. These institutions combined have 65,000 students. The quarantine came as a UCLA student contracted measles and attended class on three days — April 2, 4 and 9 — while contagious.
About 325 of those affected by the quarantine were allowed to return to campus by Friday afternoon after proving they were immune to the disease, according to The Associate Press. The quarantine was implemented on Wednesday.
Those who are still under quarantine are ordered to stay at home and avoid contact with others. They are also barred from traveling by public transportation, including planes, trains, buses or taxis. Authorities have warned that violators of this quarantine could be prosecuted.
Those involved in the quarantine were determined based on possible interactions with the UCLA student who had measles or another person who visited Cal State-L.A. while sick with the disease earlier this month.
The quarantine is expected to end Tuesday at UCLA and Thursday at Cal State-L.A.
Across the country, there are nearly 700 cases of measles that have been reported so far this year in the U.S., including 38 in California and five in Los Angeles County.
The increase is blamed largely on parents not vaccinating their children after believing misinformation about the shots’ side effects.
Most of the cases have been in New York and have centered on two ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in the state.
What do you think about this case of students being quarantined? We look forward to seeing your comments.