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NYC Measles Outbreak - What to Know

March 2nd, 2019

The New York City Department of Health recently identified 31 newly identified cases of measles in the metro area, bringing the total number of cases to 121 since the outbreak began in October. To protect you and your loved ones here is some information from the NYC DOH. 

Measles Background

  • Measles is transmitted by airborne particles, droplets, and direct contact with the respiratory secretions of an infected person.
  • Symptoms usually appear 10 to 12 days after exposure to measles, and in some cases, symptoms can start as early as seven days or as late as 21 days following exposure.
  • Early symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.
  • Rash and fever are the typical symptoms of measles and usually occur four days following the early symptoms. The rash usually starts on the face and proceeds down the body. The rash lasts several days.
  • Infected individuals are contagious from four days before rash onset through the fourth day after rash appearance.
  • Anyone can contract the measles but the virus is more severe in infants, pregnant women, and people whose immune systems are weak. Complications include:
    • Diarrhea
    • Ear infections
    • Pneumonia (swelling of the lungs)
    • Encephalitis (swelling of the brain)
    • Premature birth or low birth-weight
    • Miscarriage
    • Death

 

Precautions New Yorkers Should Take

  • You can prevent measles by making sure you and your family have received MMR vaccine. If you or your child need to be vaccinated, call your healthcare provider immediately. If you need help finding an MMR vaccine, call 311 to access a list of facilities that can provide MMR at low or no cost.
  • There are large outbreaks of measles in Europe and Israel, as well as in countries in South America, Africa, and Asia. Make sure you have been vaccinated with MMR vaccine before traveling to Europe or Israel. Infants ages 6 to 11 months should also be vaccinated prior to international travel.
  • If you think you were exposed to measles or if you have symptoms of measles, contact your health care provider before seeking care to prevent exposure to other patients.

For more information, New Yorkers can visit www.nyc.gov/health and search for “measles.” New Yorkers should call 311 to access a list of facilities that can provide MMR at low or no cost.

 

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