More than 900 students and staff members at two Los Angeles universities were quarantined on campus or sent home this week in one of the most sweeping efforts yet by public health authorities to contain the spread of measles in the US, where cases have reached a 25-year high. By Friday afternoon, the AP reports, two days after Los Angeles County ordered the precautions, about 200 of those affected had been cleared to return after proving their immunity to the disease, through either medical records or tests, school officials said. The action at UCLA and Cal State-Los Angeles—which together have more than 65,000 students—reflected the seriousness with which public health officials are taking the nation's outbreak.
"Measles actually kills people. So we have to take that really seriously," said Dr. Armand Dorian, chief medical officer at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. The number of cases in the US has climbed to nearly 700 this year, including five in Los Angeles County and 38 altogether in California. Cal State-LA reported 656 students and staff still under quarantine, while UCLA said it had fewer than 50.Those under the quarantine were instructed to stay at home and avoid contact with others. They were singled out based on their possible exposure to either an infected UCLA student who had attended classes in two buildings on three days earlier this month, or a person with measles who visited a Cal State-LA library on April 11, officials said. Given the amount of time a person can remain contagious, officials said the quarantine would end at UCLA on Tuesday and at Cal State-LA on Thursday.
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