Visitor to Campus Last Week Has Measles

News subtitle

Dartmouth offers resources about the disease, which is highly contagious among the unvaccinated.

Baker Tower framed by trees
(Photo by Katie Lenhart) 

A visitor to campus and Hanover last week has a reported case of measles, Chief Health and Wellness Officer Estevan Garcia said in an email to the Dartmouth community Friday morning.

“I’m writing to provide you with the information you need to be an active part of the response to prevent the spread of measles on campus,” Garcia said. “As of today, we do not know of anyone on campus who has been diagnosed with measles. The highest potential risk of exposure to the visitor was between Thursday, June 20, and Saturday, June 22.”

The person, who was here from June 16 to 22, has returned home to a country outside the United States and is receiving medical attention there, Garcia said.

Dartmouth students are required to have the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine to register for classes, with the exception of students who have a religious or medical exemption for the vaccine. The MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles. 

Those who have not been vaccinated are at risk of catching measles, a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. Symptoms typically appear seven to 14 days after contact with the virus and include a high fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, and a rash. 

Dartmouth has reported the measles case to the New Hampshire Department of Health and will continue to work with the state on the case.

In the email, Garcia provided resources from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (PDF) for understanding measles, how to best avoid acquiring or spreading the infection, and how to recognize infection in oneself and others. 

Garcia said anyone with concerns about their personal exposure risk or clinical symptoms, whether or not they have been vaccinated, should take the following action:

  • Students should contact the Dartmouth College Health Service for advice or call 603-646-9401 for an appointment to be seen. During summer term, the service is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A medical provider and counselor are on call 24 hours a day for urgent concerns. For emergency concerns, students should call 911 or Safety and Security at 603-646-4000.
  • Employees and visitors to campus should contact their primary care providers for guidance and recommendations.
  • Those who have been exempted from measles vaccination for medical, religious, or other reasons, are asked to contact their health care provider for recommendations. Students who have been exempted should contact the Dartmouth College Health Service by calling 603-646-9401.

“The Dartmouth Health Service remains committed to keeping you healthy and safe,” Garcia said.

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