"We are doing our best to protect our students, but they have got to take responsibility too," said Katie Arce, director of student health services, about how students can stay healthy in light of the recently reported cases of measles in Los Angeles.
As reported by the Loyolan on April 24, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) has designated Los Angeles International Airport, UCLA and California State University Los Angeles as locations where people could have been exposed to measles. According to the Los Angeles Times and the LACDPH, people without a vaccination have a 90 to 95 percent chance of contracting the disease.
According to Arce, LMU has a requirement to show proof of measles vaccinations to enter the University. However, Arce asserts that only about 75 percent of incoming students have complied. "Those of us in Student Health are not happy about that," Arce said.
If students are unvaccinated or unsure whether or not they have been immunized, Student Health Services (SHS) offers a variety of services to help. Students can visit the center for a blood test that will tell them if they have received a vaccination, or be given a vaccination.
According to their website, SHS also provides vaccinations for more than just measles. Students can receive vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, HPV, chicken pox, the flu, tetanus and meningitis.
Arce was first made aware of the measles cases several weeks ago in a report received directly from the LACDPH. To help keep students healthy, Arce states that "the most important thing they can do is check their immunization records and to get those immunization records to us."
Clinical Nurse Supervisor Deborah Velthoen said that in addition to verifying their immunization records, students should try to maintain healthy habits.
"In general, just helping to keep their immune systems good —getting rest and drinking lots of water and exercising," said Velthoen.