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Measles was eliminated from the United States in 2000, following a change from a single dose of measles vaccine to two doses after an epidemic 1989-1991. Several college campuses experienced outbreaks, including Kent State University (KSU) in Ohio. Local news media from 1988 to 1989 were searched in August 2019. Interventions taken by the university were recorded, and an epidemic curve constructed. The first measles cases were reported in October 1988. The outbreak diminished over winter break. New cases were confirmed in February 1989. Infected students were instructed to vacate the dorms. Vaccines were mandated for student groups. The epidemic grew rapidly in March but slowed after spring break. By April, 380 cases had been reported and 7000 students vaccinated. KSU was one of the hardest-hit universities during the 1989 measles epidemic. A combination of vaccination, isolation, quarantine, and elimination of public events helped to curtail the epidemic. Copyright © 2021 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Tara C Smith. When measles came to class: a look back at the 1989 Kent State University measles epidemic. Microbes and infection. 2022 Mar;24(2):104885

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PMID: 34536576

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