As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new numbers this week, South Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Geoff Yantz said his staff will continue to monitor the outbreak of measles throughout the nation and world in face of the news that quarantine orders are in effect for hundreds of students and faculty at Cal State Los Angeles and UCLA.
Nationally, there are now 704 cases of measles in 22 states, including five in LA County and 38 altogether in California. The measles outbreak in the United States is in a 25-year all-time high.
“As far as our school district is concerned, we have protocols in place,” said Yantz, noting that no cases of the measles have been detected in the local school district. “Our health clerks and administrators are aware of its systems and know what to do in the event someone may have been contracted with the disease. They will follow those protocols.”
The CDC reports an increase of 78 measles cases in just the past week. Eighty-nine percent of those cases, according to the CDC, were found in individuals who were not vaccinated.
Cal State LA and UCLA put more than 1,000 students and staff members in quarantine after they were possibly exposed on one of the two campuses. As of Tuesday morning, more than 200 students remained quarantined. Health officials will release them after they are vaccinated and virus free. Some students at Cal State LA have been quarantined up to three weeks
“California has very strict regulations and guidelines in place as far as immunization is in concerned,” said Yantz. “I know the legislation is pushing a bill to further monitor the vaccination process and regulations in schools. Statewide, I believe there are roughly 3 percent of students who are not vaccinated. Here in South Pasadena we’re below the statewide percentage.”
While no cases of measles have been detected in the local school district, Yantz said the situation will continue to be closely monitored.
“It’s an outbreak throughout our nation and the world,” he said. “It’s at the top of everyone’s mind and concern.”