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Berkeley student may have exposed thousands to measles

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:06 p.m. HST, Feb 14, 2014

BERKELEY, Calif. » San Francisco Bay Area health officials issued a public warning that a college student with measles could have exposed thousands of others when he attended classes and rode public transit.

The officials said Thursday they had confirmed that the student diagnosed last week was not vaccinated and was likely infected with measles during a recent trip to Asia.

The student in his 20s lives in Contra Costa County and attends classes at the University of California, Berkeley.

The measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours, but so far no other measles infections related to the case have been identified, health officials said.

"Measles is a very serious viral illness and very contagious," said Erika Jenssen, communicable disease program chief for Contra Costa County Public Health.

Kim LaPean, a university health services spokeswoman, said UC Berkeley health officials have contacted about 100 students who were in class with the infected student. The school also has ordered about 300 doses of measles vaccine from the state for any students not vaccinated.

"We'll continue to monitor the demand for the vaccination and may hold a clinic if necessary," LaPean said.

In Southern California, at least 10 elementary school students without complete immunization records in Temecula were sent home Thursday after a student was diagnosed with measles.

Nationally, about 189 people were reported to have measles last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That figure represented the second-largest number of cases in the U.S. since 2000. About 28 percent of these people got measles in other countries, the CDC said.

Symptoms can begin one to three weeks after exposure and can include high fever, runny nose, coughing and watery red eyes. A rash may develop on the face and neck two to three days after the fever begins and can spread across the body.

The rash usually lasts five or six days. An infected person is contagious for several days before and after the rash appears. Serious but rare complications can include ear infections, pneumonia or encephalitis.

"Measles can progress to death, but that is very rare," said Janet Berreman, health officer for the city of Berkeley said.

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busterb wrote:
Wow so does that mean someone infected visiting relatives on the Westside from Asia, could do the same thing to all those poor saps riding the train in from Ewa all the way to Downtown? Oh my.
on February 14,2014 | 04:46PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
busterb, that's a stretch. Why not wait until rail is built before worrying about something that may never happen?
on February 15,2014 | 06:40AM
busterb wrote:
I bet if anyone gets sick from this kid they thought it was a stretch too when they boarded.
on February 15,2014 | 09:28AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
On the plane, not at all. On the rail which does not exist at this moment, yes, quite impossible.
on February 15,2014 | 11:24AM
busterb wrote:
You saying we can stop that mistake? Sign me up!
on February 15,2014 | 11:32AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
busterb, what mistake are you talking about? I can't follow your logic in your posts.
on February 15,2014 | 12:28PM
HIE wrote:
With that logic, we should get rid of airplanes, buses, cruise ships, high rise buildings, shopping malls, stadiums, etc. The key is vaccination, not the prevention of people gathering in groups.
on February 15,2014 | 10:03AM
false wrote:
Didn't they say yesterday that 90% of the people exposed would become sick? That says a lot for having been vaccinated.
on February 15,2014 | 03:49AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
false, stop making false statements!!!!! "This disease is so contagious that it will infect 90 percent of the contacts who are not immune. NOT IMMUNE!!!
on February 15,2014 | 06:46AM
kekelaward wrote:
There was just a story about an infant who contracted the disease in the PI, traveled with his family to Oahu via Guam. The state DOH is investigating. Everyone on those planes may have been infected and are possible carriers. So it isn't something that may never happen, it's happening right now. (PS If any family member of the infant is infected and rides the OTS bus...oh my.) http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/24720548/health-officials-investigating-measles
on February 15,2014 | 09:26AM
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