Measles case confirmed on campus

Health officials confirmed one student has been infected with the highly contagious virus.

Ethan Nelson

A case of measles has been confirmed in a University of Minnesota student, state health officials said Wednesday.

Immunized students, staff and faculty are not at risk, though the disease is highly infectious to unimmunized people, Vice President for Health Sciences Dr. Brooks Jackson said in a University press release.

The infected student attended class from Jan. 20 through Jan. 23, the release said, and visited the University recreation center one night.

The student recently returned from international travel and is currently self-isolating off campus until recovered.

University officials will send an email to about 2,500 people who may have come into contact with the student, said Dr. Gary Christenson, the chief medical officer at Boynton Health Service.

He said students who receive an email from the University about measles and show symptoms such as a fever should call Boynton Health Service. Staff and faculty with concerns should contact their health care provider.

However, Christenson said most people at the University are not at risk because of the school’s high immunization rate.

“If you talk to some of the staff and physicians we have, they’ve never seen case of measles in their practice or during residency,” he said.

The University requires all students born after 1956 to be vaccinated for measles, tetanus, mumps and rubella. Staff and faculty are not required to be immunized.

So far this year, there have been at least 68 confirmed cases of measles in the Unites States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the cases are part of an outbreak related to an amusement park in California.

Last year, 644 cases were reported — the largest number since 2000, when the CDC declared the virus as eliminated.