Friday, November 02, 2018

LAKEWOOD, NJ — Two more cases of measles have been confirmed in Ocean County, and the state Department of Health is now labeling it an outbreak.


2 More Measles Cases In Ocean County 'Outbreak', State Says 

A pizza place and another restaurant are among the sites where others may have been exposed, the state health department said.

By Karen Wall, Patch Staff | | Updated

2 More Measles Cases In Ocean County 'Outbreak', State Says

LAKEWOOD, NJ — Two more cases of measles have been confirmed in Ocean County, and the state Department of Health is now labeling it an outbreak.

Health Department Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said the two new cases are people who developed symptoms after being exposed to a man who was exposed to the measles while traveling internationally.

The two new cases could have exposed others to infection between Oct. 25 and Oct. 30, a statement from the Health Department said. The first case of measles was reported Oct. 24, but that man had exposed others before the case was confirmed.

"The Department of Health is considering this an outbreak of measles in the community," the statement said.

Measles can take up to 21 days to appear; those exposed to the first man, if infected, could develop symptoms as late as Nov. 11. Anyone exposed to either of the two new cases could develop symptoms as late as Nov. 20, the health department said.
Anyone who was at any of the following locations on the specified dates who has not been vaccinated or who has not had measles is considered exposed and at risk:
  • Schul Satmar, 405 Forest Avenue, Lakewood; Oct. 13-Oct. from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day
  • Eat a Pita, 116 Clifton Ave, Lakewood; Oct. 15 between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • CHEMED Health Center, 1771 Madison Ave, Lakewood; Oct. 17 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Oct. 18 between 10:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • NPGS, 231 Main St, Lakewood; Oct. 25 between 9 a.m. and noon, and Oct. 29 between 2:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.
  • Pizza Plus, 241 4th St, Lakewood; Oct. 28 between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Measles is a highly contagious disease and the state health department is working in collaboration with the Ocean County Health Department to identify and notify people who might have been exposed during the time the individuals were infectious.

The Department urges residents to remain vigilant for any symptoms of measles, including 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.

What to do if you think you may have been exposed:
  • DO NOT go to the emergency room or your health provider — CALL FIRST. 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.
  • MAKE SURE your immunizations and your family's immunizations are up to date. Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles, state epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan said.
"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," Tan said.

If you are 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.
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.
Common complications are ear infections and diarrhea. More severe complications include pneumonia and encephalitis; as many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children. One in every 1,000 children who get measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with intellectual disability.

For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.