Friday, May 3, 2019

More on UCLA Measles

From the Bruin

UCLA dodged a bullet – or a plague, to be more precise. The university was rocked by news of a measles case last week after a student infected with the disease attended classes in Franz and Boelter halls April 2, 4 and 9. And 11 days, at least 46 quarantines and countless worried phone calls later, it seems like the university has gotten by without too much issue.

But it can’t be stated enough how bad this could have been. A disease as contagious as measles could tear through a school like UCLA, with the largest undergraduate student body packed onto the second-smallest campus in the University of California system.

This issue could have been avoided with stricter vaccination requirements. It seems the UC knew this, but didn’t act fast or go far enough. The University agreed to impose a policy in 2015 requiring two doses of vaccinations or a blood test proving immunity to the disease, but only started enforcing it in 2018, according to the Los Angeles Times. Unfortunately, this policy only applies to incoming students and not students who enrolled prior to this school year.

By delaying stricter vaccination requirements, the UC has indirectly endangered students who can’t be vaccinated. By not enacting this policy earlier, the University has allowed three classes of students to slip through the cracks and placed them at a greater risk of infection.

All students from these classes who can be vaccinated should now be required to in order to reduce the risk of infection and spread of measles in the future.

Delaying vaccination requirements is a risk we can’t afford for a disease as serious as measles, said Deborah Lehman, a professor in pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases...

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