Students at two California universities in Los Angeles have been quarantined, following exposure to the measles virus on their campuses.
More than 500 students at California State University who were exposed to the virus – which can be fatal – could not prove that they had been vaccinated against it. They were ordered to stay at home and avoid contact with others, along with over 100 staff that could not prove immunity. The University of California at Los Angeles also quarantined dozens of students after an infected student attended a number of classes on campus.
The ‘anti-vax’ impact
Outbreaks of measles have hit a 25-year high in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in part due to the influence of dedicated anti-vaccination (or ‘anti-vax’) communities on social media. The World Health Organization described ‘vaccine hesitancy’ as one of the 10 biggest threats to global health in 2019.
Students with auto-immune diseases or vaccination allergies are among those that are particularly vulnerable to the virus, as they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and so are reliant on herd immunity for protection.