MEASLES IN THE NEWS
Rockland County has been dealing with a Measles outbreak for the past six months. Confirmed cases have reached such a proportion that Rockland County Health Department took the unprecedented action of excluding unvaccinated minors from enclosed, public spaces.
Bergen County, on the other hand, has no confirmed measles cases and the State Department of Health is not recommending that we follow the Rockland County ban.
Vaccination is the best defense against measles transmission.
Measles is a highly contagious disease and can be especially harmful, even deadly, to those under age 5, the elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. The virus can survive up to two hours in the air, and exposed individuals can transmit the virus to others up to four days before they even show symptoms themselves. Individuals can best protect themselves by ascertaining their immunization status and that of their children, and getting vaccinated if necessary.
If, for medical reasons, you or your child cannot receive a vaccine you should refrain from frequenting places where outbreaks are occurring (currently in Rockland County, NY and Ocean County, NJ). In other public spaces maintain a minimum of 3 feet in distance between yourself and people you are conversing with – they may not be immunized. Consider that young children who have not received the complete series (two to three doses) may not have full immunity.
If you do become ill and suspect you may have been exposed to measles, you are urged to call your health care provider or emergency room before going to those facilities. Precautions will be taken to protect other patients from potential exposure to the virus.
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