CSU’s react to measles outbreaks


JJ Reed

A nurse at the CSUB Student Health Center prepares a MMR vaccine on May 6, 2019.

Violeta Trujillo, Reporter

On April 26, 2019, CSU Bakersfield released a memorandum alerting campus community caution regarding measles outbreaks in California universities close to Bakersfield.

The memo advises students to call Student Health Services if they have not had two doses of the MMR vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two doses of the MMR vaccine are about 97 percent effective in measles prevention, in comparison to 93 percent effective with a single dose of the measles vaccine.

According to CNN, at the University of California, Los Angeles and California State University, Los Angeles, there are over 200 students, faculty, and staff being quarantined because they cannot verify their measles vaccination and have been exposed to the measles virus.

According to the CDC, measles symptoms which include: fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and soon a red rash develops at the head spreading to the rest of the body. CSUB students with any symptoms are advised to call the Student Health Center before a visitation, in attempt to refrain from spreading the virus.

Additionally, if students are unsure if they have two doses of the measles vaccine, they are advised to call the Student Health Center for more information.

Kayla Culberson, a junior English major at CSUB, said, “I’m concerned it’s going to happen at CSUB, so if people have a mandatory check, we can know for sure it won’t spread.”

In 2002, the CSU Executive Order 803 made it mandatory for CSU students to have two doses of the measles vaccine. However, students can be exempted from the measles vaccine based on “medical considerations and religious or personal beliefs,” but those exempted would have to partake in distance learning.

Culberson stands by her idea that a mandatory check would be appropriate preventive action on behalf of CSUB.

“We can’t just trust that people have gotten it,” said Culberson. “Especially with it going around.”

Elizabeth Menchaca, a junior liberal studies major at CSUB, said, “It’s frightening to think about how contagious the measles can affect our community in a negative way.”

Menchaca further shared her concerns about CSUB being an open campus during measles outbreaks and not knowing if a person has the measles vaccine.

“Anyone can easily catch this virus,” said Menchaca.

Chancellor of the CSU, Timothy P. White, revised the Executive Order 803 on March 25, 2019, which will be effective at all CSU campuses starting Fall 2020.

The Executive Order 803 states, “Campus implementation of the required immunizations and screenings shall include provisions for exemptions bases on medical considerations.”

The revised executive order does not consider “religious or personal beliefs” for exemption, which was allowed under the original order.

Bivianna Chavez, a junior psychology major at CSUB, said, “I believe the revision is safer, but it is a personal choice whether or not a person decides to get vaccinated.”