Orange County Health Department: Five confirmed cases of measles


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— The Orange County Department of Health is advising residents that as of Wednesday, Dec. 12, there are five confirmed cases of measles in the county.

Two of these cases have been laboratory confirmed in children who attend school in Orange County.

The Health Department is working closely with the affected school(s) and individuals have been notified.

Unvaccinated and under-vaccinated persons have been excluded from school since 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.

Two stagesMeasles symptoms generally appear in two stages.

In the first stage, which lasts two to four days, the individual may have a runny nose, cough and a slight fever. Eyes may become reddened and sensitive to light while the fever gradually rises each day, often peaking as high as 103° to 105° F. Small bluish white spots surrounded by a reddish area called Koplik’s spots may also appear on the inside of the mouth.

The second stage begins on the third to seventh day and consists of a red blotchy rash lasting five to six days. The rash usually begins on the face and then spreads downward and outward, reaching the hands and feet. The rash fades in the same order that it appeared, from head to extremities.

A person can spread measles from four days before the onset of rash through four days after the rash begins. Although measles is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age.

VaccinesA person is considered immune and is unlikely to get measles if they were born before Jan. 1, 1957, have received two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine or have a lab test confirming immunity.

Those individuals lacking immunity or not sure if they have been vaccinated are at risk of developing measles. Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis and/or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear in 10-12 days after exposure, but may appear as early as seven days and may take as long as 21 days.

Persons who become ill should contact their primary care provider by phone or the Orange County Department of Health at (845) 291-2330 before seeking care to avoid exposing others to illness.

The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals are recommended to receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be protected. Contact your primary care provider for vaccination recommendations.

For more information about measles, please visit https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170/

and http://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.



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