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U.C.L.A. and California State-Los Angeles Order Quarantines Amid Measles Outbreak

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U.C.L.A. and California State-Los Angeles Order Quarantines Amid Measles Outbreak

More than 200 university students and employees in Los Angeles were given quarantine orders on Wednesday and Thursday, just days after a measles 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 measles this month.

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.

[Update: More than 700 at 2 California universities under quarantine amid measles outbreak.]

At California State-Los Angeles, quarantine orders were issued on Thursday in response to potential exposures to a contagious person who visited a university library on April 11.

In another statement on Thursday, the university said it had cleared 43 more students and two faculty members, reducing the number of people under quarantine there to 82.

“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. ends 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 measles 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 — swelling of the brain — are the most common severe complications.

A single case of the measles can quickly spiral into an outbreak, especially because people might not know they have the illness for several weeks before they begin to show symptoms.

People who do contract measles often seek medical care at hospitals, where they can potentially transmit the illness 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. Some older people are also at high risk, as are patients who take medication that affects the immune system, like those being treated for arthritis.

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