Students who want to attend the mens' basketball game at Yale University will have to present proof of two measles innoculations before entering Yale's Payne Whitney Gymnasium, Yale's athletic department announced last night. Other weekend athletic contests have either been canceled or will be held on the condition that all University athletes be immunized against the virus, University officials said last night. Because of a measles outbreak in Philadelphia and on campus, Yale Athletic Department officials, on the advice of the Connecticut State Health Department, decided to require differing standards for entrance to the game for different age groups. They hope to keep the disease from spreading from one campus to the other, Yale officials said last night. Five cases of measles have been confirmed on the University campus, Student Health Director MarJeanne Collins said last night. Four of the five students were members of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and the wrestling team. The Yale Athletic Department has been discussing ways to prevent the virus from spreading for the past three days, Yale Sports Information Director Steve Ulrich said last night. University students, as well as anyone between 13 and 34 years old who wishes to attend the game, must present photo identification plus written proof of a second measles-mumps-rubella vaccination dose. Those wishing to enter the arena who are age 35 and over must present photo identification. Age groups will be treated differently because of a change in the vaccine in 1957. Some people innoculated with a measles vaccine after 1957 are not immunized and have caught the virus. Yale students, who are required under Connecticut state law to receive two immunization doses more than one month apart after 1980 in order to enroll, must show student identification and match their social security numbers against an immunization record. Yale's athletic department had hoped Student Health could provide a listing of immunization records to be taken to the game site for students to check before entering. Student Health Director Collins said last night, however, such an arrangement would be unrealistic, considering the service would be busy handling patients and immunizing other athletes who are playing this weekend. "Our phones are ringing off the hook," Collins said last night. "Students should have their own records anyway." Parents of children under the age of 13 must present written proof of a single immunization dose administered after age 15 months. Yale's Ulrich said last night the department wants to make sure the virus does not spread any further through Ivy League athletic competition. "We're just concerned about confining the area where the disease has sprung up," he said last night. "[We must make sure] anyone attending does not run the risk of contracting the disease and going any further." Ulrich added Yale had also considered closing the game entirely and barring anyone under the age of 35 from attending the game. Alan Schreiber, chairperson of the graduate group of immunology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, said he doubts University students traveling to New Haven poses a serious health threat to Yale. "Penn students carrying measles to play Yale -- I'm not worried about it," Schreiber said. The athletic department told the band and the cheerleaders this afternoon -- before Yale decided to restrict entrance to the game -- that Yale had asked them not to go to New Haven. The groups then canceled their trips. Mens' Basketball Coach Fran Dunphy said yesterday he will miss the groups' presence at the game. "I can't tell you how important [it is] to stand here before the game and hear the band play," Dunphy said. "[But Yale is] feeling they're better safe than sorry." Band Director Claude White said yesterday he does not question the need to control the spread of the virus but said staying home will be disheartening because the band enjoys cheering for the team and travelling. "It's disappointing," White said. "Is it understandable? Yes, if they are trying to be very cautious, but it doesn't change the fact it's disappointing." Staff writers David Bowden, Steve Glass and Noam Harel contributed to this story.Comments powered by Disqus
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