Suspected case of measles at UMass Boston
DORCHESTER, Mass. -- The Boston Public Health Commission is investigating a suspected case of measles on the UMass Boston campus.
Notified of the possible case Monday, UMass Boston is now telling unprotected students who came in direct contact with the male faculty member to stay home for three weeks.
“This is obviously a very serious potential illness, but right now it’s unconfirmed,” said Patrick Day, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.
The university is now reaching out to the 45 students and five faculty members who likely had direct contact.
Whether the case is confirmed or not, most students should be protected. School officials say students are, with few exceptions, required to show yearly proof of vaccination. But they admit that employees are not.
“They’re in the same atmosphere that we are. We’re all learning together, working together,” said one student.
“I think we take a look at all of our policies, and make sure that what we’re doing is certainly going to be consistent with the best practices, which is relative to everything from the American College Health Association to making sure that we have protected our campus as much as we can,” said Day.
This measles scare is just the latest in a handful of recent suspected cases in Boston and one confirmed case of a female employee at the French consulate in the Back Bay. Public Health Officials do not believe that case is connected to the unconfirmed case at UMass Boston.
The disease is considered highly contagious. Besides for a rash that often starts on the face and spreads, the symptoms include bloodshot eyes, cough, fever and muscle pain.
The university said with some students possible facing time in quarantine, they are now working with those students to make sure that their academic life doesn’t suffer as a result of this health scare.
(Copyright (c) 2011 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)