Student Health Center (copy)

The Student Health Center at Orange Coast College

A serious scare of a measles outbreak in Los Angeles is underway and reports show there are 14 cases in the area, although none at Orange Coast College.

“We heard a lot about what was going on in Los Angeles County, at UCLA, and there were no Orange County cases at that time. We kind of function as a mini health department,” Kelly Daly, director of the Student Health Center said about a potential measles outbreak here.

If a case were to be discovered on campus, Daly would contact the Orange County Health Care Agency which would send the person to the Orange County Health Department, where they would be assessed and the results communicated to the school for OCC to know how to handle the situation.

According to Daly, measles is one of the most infectious diseases.

“Measles is really contagious, so if you are in a room and infected, chances are everyone in that room is going to get infected or be exposed to the virus,” Daly said.

A Coast Community College District board policy specific to communicable disease gives Daly and the dean of students  the ability to get involved if a student who shows symptoms refuses to get assessed or receive treatment. The college will also help students cover testing costs.

“We have two confirmed cases in the Orange County. One is a known traveler and acquired the infection through international travel. The other is a child who has no travel history and apparently acquired the infection locally,” Matthew Zahn, the director of epidemiology and assessment for the Orange County Health Care Agency said.

Zahn said two infections in a county of 3 million residents doesn’t cause worry or mean there is an outbreak.

Measles symptoms start with flu-like symptoms. The rash begins  at the top of your head in the scalp area and moves downward.

Daly said if students had the required vaccine in childhood they should be covered, but can have a blood test called a titerto check.

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