Student Health diagnosed a sixth case of measles in a student living off-campus Friday, Director MarJeanne Collins said last night. The student is the second student infected with the virus who is not a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity or the wrestling team, Collins said. Although the virus originally seemed to be restricted to ATO brothers who are on the University wrestling team, a case diagnosed Thursday and Friday's case, indicate the virus has spread. Neither student was a friend with the wrestlers or the ATO brothers diagnosed, Collins added. "It makes me fearful that we're going to continue to get cases," Collins said last night. However, no cases have been diagnosed over the weekend, Collins said. The director said Student Health has seen some of the early symptoms of mild measles cases, including conjunctivitis -- commonly known as pink-eye -- sore throats and colds in a number of people in the past few days. Because it is difficult to test for the virus, diagnosis is not possible until a rash appears, Collins said. The cases seen, Collins said, have not been severe. "Our feeling is since everyone has had at least one [vaccination], we have people who have at least partial protection," Collins said. Collins urged students to call their hometown physicians to find out the exact dates of any measles immunization, adding that Student Health is not equipped to handle a lot of calls from students asking about their immunization records. In order to meet University requirements, students must have two measles-mumps-rubella vaccinations. This requirement was adopted in 1989, but Student Health did not ask physicians to verify records for students already on campus, Collins said, leaving some students not protected against the virus. Students also need this information in case they are identified as having contact with a student diagnosed as having measles. In preparing to deal with the outbreak, Student Health will likely set up extra hours during the evening to immunize students. It will also immunize students in the lobby of High Rise South from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. Student Health immunizations cost $30. People who have cold symptoms with a fever should come in to Student Health to be checked, Collins said, adding students who think they have measles should call ahead so "we woudn't leave them sitting in the waiting-room." The University has not decided to close any public gatherings, Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson said last night. Collins said such measures would be premature, but said the University may cancel events should more cases appear. Collins also said any student groups planning to travel need to contact Student Health so members may be immunized if necessary. Collins said Student Health workers have been logging overtime hours to keep up with immunizations and examinations.Comments powered by Disqus
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