Minnesota health officials have confirmed a case of measles in a University of Minnesota-Twin Cities student, according to the school Wednesday.

Measles rash Image/CDC
Measles rash

The ill student, a 20-year-old male,  had recently returned from international travel, and is now self-isolating off campus while recovering. Prior to being diagnosed, the student attended classes from January 20 through January 23 on the East Bank, and had visited the University Recreation and Wellness Center on the evening of January 20.

The University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center and Boynton Health Service are working closely with public health officials to contact anyone who may have been exposed to measles from the ill student. Local physicians, clinics and hospitals are being alerted to watch for patients with measles symptoms.

The University states that students, faculty and staff who have been immunized against measles are not at risk, and the University population is highly immunized due to enrollment requirements. However, because measles is highly infectious among those who have not been vaccinated, the University is sharing this information as a precaution.

“Measles is an extremely contagious disease, and potentially very serious for those who haven’t been vaccinated,” said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health. “We are going to be watching this situation very closely, and we will be working with officials at the University and Fairview to protect the health of other students, faculty and health care providers.”

Dr. Ehlinger emphasized that the potential risk to the general public is very low, but stressed that people should take proper precautions to protect themselves and their children against the disease. In particular, he called on Minnesota parents to make sure their children have been properly immunized against measles. People who have questions about their immunization status or concerns about their health should contact their health care provider.

MDH officials emphasized that the Minnesota case does not appear to have any connection with the measles outbreak that has been taking place recently in Southern California.