Measles Outbreak in NYC

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) has confirmed 16 cases of the measles in northern Manhattan and the Bronx, including one student case at Teachers College. The student is receiving appropriate medical attention and is expected to fully recover.  We are working closely with the NYC DOHMH to be certain the campus community is protected and safe. 

Columbia University, in accordance with the Department of Health, urges the campus community to make sure students, faculty and staff are vaccinated against contagious diseases. The best way to prevent infection of measles is by getting the MMR vaccine, a combination shot for measles, mumps, and rubella.

The majority of Columbia students should feel safe against contracting the measles on campus as New York State public law requires registered students taking 6 or more credits to demonstrate proof of immunity against MMR before arriving on campus.

We encourage you to receive the MMR vaccine if you are not already immune to the measles:

  1. Students:
    • Morningside:  Students may receive a free vaccine at Columbia Health Medical Services by calling (212) 854-7426.
    • Medical Center: Students may schedule an appointment for an MMR vaccine by calling (212) 305-3400.
  2. Faculty/Staff: Contact your healthcare provider about the measles vaccine.

The measles is a serious, highly infectious virus that can spread quickly among those who have not been vaccinated. Measles may cause fever, cough, runny nose, red or watery eyes, and feeling weary or achy.  These symptoms are typically followed by blotchy reddish-brown rash found all over the body and white spots inside the mouth. Symptoms generally start to appear about 7 to 14 days after infection. Further complications of the measles may include pneumonia which can sometimes be life threatening, particularly in young children, pregnant women, those with a compromised immune system from diseases, such as HIV or cancer, or because they are on medications which suppress the immune system.

For additional information about the measles, please visit:

Students on the Morningside campus may also contact Medical Services, visit www.health.columbia.edu or call (212) 854-2284. Students at the Medical Center may visit www.cumc.columbia.edu/student/health or call (212) 305-3400.