BLOOMINGTON, Ind.-- Health officials in Monroe County are working with Indiana University after a case of measles was identified on IU's Bloomington campus.
Officials at Indiana University in Bloomington are dealing with the measles outbreak just as the spring semester is getting underway. So far there is just one confirmed case, but that’s all it takes to be considered an outbreak.
“I never thought that there would be a measles outbreak,” said senior Jordan Kline.
Students and faculty were informed of the outbreak Wednesday via an email from school officials, along with tips on how to contain the virus.
“At first I was a little concerned,” said sophomore Jack Neighbours, “but the fact that the university let us know about it and took the precautions to make everybody aware of it, I think they did a good job being proactive about that.”
Measles isn’t life threatening and typically runs its course in about two weeks. However, it’s highly contagious and can make life miserable for those who catch it.
“[IU’s] last confirmed case was in 2013 and there was one case then,” said IU spokesperson Chuck Carney, “so this gives you a pretty good estimate of how often this happens.”
Campus officials say the infected student got back to campus last week. People who that student may have come into contact with have been identified and the infected student is under quarantine.
“I was a little worried at first, but I got my vaccine and I think everyone else got theirs,” said freshman Tyler Mallard.
And because all students are required to get a measles vaccine to enroll, campus officials hope this one case is the only one they see.
“We don’t feel that there’s a chance this is going to be a large outbreak,” said Carney.
But officials are still asking students and staff to remember basic precautions. like hand-washing and not sharing cups or utensils. They also urge students who exhibit any measles symptoms—like a fever, sore throat, or body rash—to go to a doctor immediately.
"If they don't feel well go check it out,” said Carney, “this is one of those times we say don't be a hero."
IU officials also said the school is getting assistance with the case from the Monroe County Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health.
The Monroe County Health Department says the best prevention method is to be vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR). Also remember to wash your hands with soap and water, sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, and avoid sharing food or drinks.