Tourists infected with measles visited Tuxedo Park

Second report of tourists with measles in Orange County this year


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BY ERIKA NORTON

Two European tourists with now confirmed cases of measles visited a number of places in New York City, Orange and Putnam counties, including Tuxedo. An Australian tourist with a now confirmed case of measles visited a number of places in New York City, Putnam and Orange counties, including Tuxedo.

According to the New York State Department of Health, the tourists visited a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Brooklyn on April 15 and toured two separate Watchtower facilities in Orange and Putnam counties on April 16 and April 17, potentially exposing others to measles. The risk of developing measles is very low for people who have been vaccinated or are immune.

Anyone who visited the following locations may have been exposed:

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 873 New Jersey Avenue, Brooklyn, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 15.

Watchtower World Headquarters, 1 Kings Drive, Tuxedo Park, between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on April 16.

Watchtower Educational Center, 100 Watchtower Drive, Patterson, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on April 17.

These times reflect the period that the infected individuals were in these areas and a two-hour period after the individuals left the area, according to the Department of Health, since the virus remains alive in air and on surfaces for up to two hours.

What to doTo prevent the spread of illness, the health department is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.

Measles symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose and usually appear 10-12 days after exposure, but may appear as early as seven days and as late as 21 days after exposure. Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people.

Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have had measles disease, or have a lab test confirming immunity, according to state health officials. Individuals who are not immune to measles and were exposed are at risk for developing measles.

Those individuals without immunity or who are not sure if they have been vaccinated, should contact their health care provider if they develop measles symptoms.

People with measles first develop a fever, then may have a cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by appearance of the rash and are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.

The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated, according to the health department. Individuals should receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be fully protected.

Typically, the first dose of MMR vaccine should be given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose should be given at four to six years of age (age of school entry). In New York State, measles immunization is required of children enrolled in schools, daycare and pre-kindergarten.

Since August 1990, college students have also been required to demonstrate immunity against measles.

Second case of measles in Hudson ValleyThis is the second case of measles reported by the New York State Department of Health this year. In February, an Australian tourist with measles visited a number of places in New York City, Putnam and Orange Counties, including the same Watchtower Educational Center in Patterson, N.Y., and a hotel and Urgent Care facility in Goshen.

More information about measles can be found at https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170.pdf



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