Measles case no longer contagious

Health officials said residents of Sydney Hall may have been exposed to the virus recently.

by Jessie Bekker

The case of measles confirmed last week in a University of Minnesota student is no longer contagious.

Residents of Sydney Hall received a letter Thursday notifying them that the infected student, who lives in the apartment building,  is no longer infectious, but they may have been exposed to the disease between Jan. 20 and Jan. 28.

John Wodele, vice president of marketing for Doran Companies, which owns Sydney Hall, said Hennepin County health officials are keeping the student’s current location and identity confidential.

“We are absolutely confident that they have the situation under control,” Wodele said, adding that tenants have not expressed concern.

The infected student had returned from international travel and attended classes from Jan. 20 to Jan. 23, in addition to visiting the University Recreation Center, according to a press release sent by the University Wednesday.

Boynton Health Service’s chief medical officer, Dr. Gary Christenson, said on Wednesday that the school planned to notify about 2,500 people who may have come into contact with the student.

Still, the school had said the risk of an outbreak on campus was low due to the high vaccination rate.

All University students born after 1956 are required to be vaccinated for measles, tetanus, mumps and rubella to enroll in the University, though staff and faculty have no such requirement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 99 percent effectiveness rate for the measles vaccine, leaving those immunized virtually risk-free. For those unvaccinated, the virus is highly contagious.

Measles, an airborne disease, is marked by cold-like symptoms, high fever and a rash about two weeks after infection, according to the CDC.

Hennepin County health officials are asking anyone who believes they are developing symptoms of the measles to notify the Boynton Health Service or their health care provider.