The following is a summary with new and ongoing information with respect to the measles outbreak from the Ocean County Health Department.
- There are now 11 confirmed measles cases.
- There are also seven potential cases under investigation.
- Vaccination is encouraged and those children involved with exposure to a confirmed case may be subject to an order of exclusion, if unvaccinated.
- The Ocean County Health Department continues to support and highly encourage the exclusion of non-vaccinated children from schools, preschools and daycares in the outbreak area. These entities have the authority to make that decision when an outbreak has been declared by the New Jersey Department of Health.
- People are reminded to check their immunization records and if there is any sign of symptoms to contact your healthcare provider prior to showing up at that provider’s office so that appropriate arrangements can be made for examination or treatment.
- The potential for spreading infection exists four days prior and four days after a measles rash onset.
- People can become ill from measles from 5 to 21 days after being exposed to the virus.
- Measles-like symptoms include fever, rash, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite and pink eye.
- Measles can spread through coughing and sneezing and can live on surfaces and in the air for up to two hours.
- 30% of measles cases involve additional serious health complications.
UPDATE: Anyone who visited the office of Dr. Eli Eilenberg, 150 James St, Lakewood, NJ 08701, on November 1 between 12:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., may have been exposed to Measles.
The State Health Department also added the following information:
The Department urges residents to remain vigilant for any symptoms of measles. Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. It can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Measles infection in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth-weight baby. Measles is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.
The Department recommends that anyone who visited any of the locations listed above during the specified dates/times should contact a health provider immediately to discuss potential exposure and risk of developing the illness. If you have been exposed, you are at risk if you have not been vaccinated or have not had measles. Individuals potentially exposed, if infected, could develop symptoms as late as November 22.
Anyone who suspects an exposure is urged to call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department. Special arrangements can be made for evaluation while also protecting other patients and medical staff from possible infection.
Anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not had measles is at risk if they are exposed. “Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles,” said Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist.
“We urge everyone to check to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations. Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it protects others around you who are too young to get the vaccine or can’t receive it for medical reasons. If you’re planning an international trip, the World Health Organization recommends that adults or adolescents unsure of their immune status get a dose of measles vaccine before traveling,” Dr. Tan added.
Before international travel:
- Infants 6 through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine. Infants who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose separated by at least 28 days).
- Children 1 year and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
- Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.