Measles information

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Drew Malloy, MD, Medical Director

We want to provide an update about measles. There has been an outbreak of measles reported at UCLA and in other areas of California. We have had no cases of measles at UC Santa Cruz. There has been one case of measles reported in Santa Cruz County. Three measles cases were confirmed in the Bay Area, all linked to the same international flight that landed at SFO in February. The person who was contagious with measles during the flight was a Santa Cruz County resident. This person did not re-enter Santa Cruz County while infectious. The two other cases are San Francisco and Santa Clara County residents. Public health investigators investigated all three cases and controlled the outbreak; there is no evidence indicating that measles is spreading further within the impacted counties. Since January 2019, the state of California has identified 21 cases of measles from 10 California counties. One of these cases involved a student at UCLA.

Our current focus is on measles prevention. The measles vaccination (MMR) is very effective. In 2017 and 2018 we began to require all incoming students to show us that they had received 2 MMR vaccinations or proof of immunity by blood testing. For students who arrived on campus prior to this requirement we encourage you to find your vaccination records or discuss getting a blood test to confirm your immunity. Students who need this vaccination can contact the Student Health Center at 831-459-2500. 

What are the symptoms of measles and where should you go to get evaluated?Measles begins with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). A rash appears three to five days after symptoms start, usually beginning as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spreading downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet.

If you have reason to think you have measles due to a high fever, rash, and serious illness you should seek care. For students, call the Student health Center at 831-459-2591 and speak to the Advice Nurse. We will arrange to see you. For faculty and staff, call your primary care provider to discuss the best way to be seen. 

According to the California Department of Public Health the highest risk to our university campus is the risk of international travel. If faculty, staff or students intend to travel internationally we strongly encourage you to be sure your immunizations are up to date. 

The UCSC Student Health Center works in close collaboration with our local and state Health Departments under a Communicable Disease Response process. We will alert you should the situation change in any way. At this time you can contribute to the health of our community by being vaccinated. Please take the time to find your vaccination records and assure your immunity.  Current information is available on our website.