Although there are no measles cases confirmed at USC, the recent outbreak in Los Angeles County has given us an opportunity to remind members of our community how to protect themselves against this preventable and serious disease.
The most important action you can take is to ensure that you are fully immunized with two doses of the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. The second dose recommendation was not made until 1989; so many adults have received only one dose. The MMR vaccine is safe and effective at preventing measles, mumps and rubella. Those who are unable to locate written verification of two doses of measles immunization can receive one dose right away and a second dose in four weeks. Immunity can also be verified through a blood test.
USC students are required to submit proof of two doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine when they enter the university.
- Students who have questions about measles or their vaccination status should contact USC Student Health at 213-740-9355.
- Employees should contact their local health care provider.
Infected people can infect those around them before they have symptoms and know they are infected. Contacts of a person confirmed to have measles who do not have written verification of two doses of measles immunization, will be subject to quarantine by public health officials of up to 21 days from date of exposure. A blood test may be done to check for immunity and possible removal of the order for quarantine.
Common symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and a rash that usually appears 10 to 21 days after the exposure. Individuals should contact their healthcare provider by phone before going in if they develop measles symptoms, so measures can be taken to prevent possible spread to others in the provider’s waiting room. They should also tell their doctor or other healthcare provider if they traveled internationally or had international visitors in the last 21 days or had exposure to another person with measles. For more information about measles, visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/hea/library/topics/measles/ or call 2-1-1.