A potential case of measles on campus

The campus community was notified on Nov. 5 that a student was seen by doctors at a local health facility for a potential case of the measles. In an email jointly signed by Dean of Students Amy Badal and Medical Director of Student Health Catherine O’Neil M.D., it was reported that the Pa. Department of Health’s epidemiologist “does not at this time believe this to be an actual case of the measles.” However, the cautionary email was sent out “given that measles is highly contagious and can lead to serious health issues,” Badal and O’Neil said. The same email that was sent out to students, faculty and staff was forwarded to parents soon after.

Measles is a viral infection that spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing, as well as “mouth-to-mouth contact” according to the email. Symptoms appear approximately two weeks after exposure, and include coughing, runny nose, inflamed eyes, sore throat, fever and a red, blotchy skin rash.

Melissa Allen, M.H.A. R.N., of Student Health said measles vaccine is a requirement for all University students and 99.9% of students on campus are fully vaccinated. “Staff at student health did reach out to all students without vaccine or evidence of immunity and offered the vaccine earlier this week,” said Allen.

The student referenced in the email is awaiting lab results, according to Allen.

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