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The University is making progress against its measles outbreak even though another "probable" mild measles case was diagnosed yesterday -- raising the number of students infected to seven, Student Health Director MarJeanne Collins said last night. "If anything, [the situation] is better or at least the same," Collins said, adding the last three cases Student Health has diagnosed have been very mild. The outbreak's stability -- along with the near-complete immunization of all athletes -- has prompted Student Health and Athletic Department officials to rule tentatively that all weekend athletic contests will proceed without attendance restrictions. However, Collins did not rule out the possiblity that other competing schools may request restricted entrance to contests or may cancel their events. Philadelphia's Deputy Health Commissioner Robert Ross said yesterday he is "very concerned" about the University's measles outbreak, saying he will contact Collins this morning for an update on the situation. He added the city was concerned about future outbreaks in colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area and said the University "had better move on it" or else face an outright epidemic. "There's been lots of measles in colleges over the last year," Ross said. Ross also said the city's outbreak -- which has claimed at least five lives -- may last for another year. Collins said the undergraduate that Student Health diagnosed yesterday was advised to go into isolation to keep the virus from spreading, and has since left the University. Student Health has also contacted the students' roommates to tell them about the diagnosis, Collins said. Student Health does not have time or the ability to reach other possible "contacts" who may have received the virus, she added. This case brings the number Student Health has diagnosed to seven -- six undergraduates and a graduate student, Collins said. It is also the third case diagnosed unrelated to the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and the wrestling team, Collins said. The first four students diagnosed are members of ATO and the University wrestling team. Collins emphasized the need for everyone under 35, including faculty and staff, to check their immunization records to make sure they are immunized twice, adding she is unaware of any faculty or staff diagnosed with the measles. "I think a lot of young faculty and staff may not be in compliance with [measles regulations] and need to be aware of them," Collins said. She also emphasized that students who plan to travel -- as an individual or as a member of a student group -- should check on their immunization records and set up appointments with Student Health should they need to be immunized. The Center for Disease Control recommends everyone receive one live-virus measles-mumps-rubella vaccination after their first birthday. The University changed its policy in summer 1989 to require two vaccinations before being on campus two semesters. This policy, which Deputy Health Commissioner Ross called a "good one," combats problems with the dead-virus vaccination which had been administered to people aged 13 to 34. However, Student Health has not enforced the policy for students already on campus, taking the students' word on their immunization record without requesting proof from their physician. Students should not, however, call Student Health for immunization information, Collins added, saying they cannot handle all the requests -- especially with Student Health employees themselves sick staying home from work. "The phones are ringing off the wall," Collins said, adding a special line will be installed by the end of the week or the beginning of next week to handle immunization appointments. Student Health is scheduling extra hours for staff members to combat the outbreak, Collins said, adding that the University Life Office has authorized them to spend extra money. "At the moment, we have to do what we have to do," Collins said. Students needing to be immunized should either call early in the morning or come to Student Health to make an appointment, Collins said.

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