Nine cases of measles have now been confirmed in New Jersey and health officials want to know if anybody's been exposed as the outbreak continues to expand.
Two new cases were announced this week and state health officials warn that individuals could have exposed others to the infection while in Ocean County between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1.
Even if you got the shot, you could still be at risk of contracting the disease, state officials said.
"It spreads easily through the air and is very hardy," he said. The measles virus can remain active on surfaces for two hours, and if someone contagious is in a room, it can spread through the whole building, depending on the HVAC system, he said.
Measles can 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.
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 any of the new cases could develop symptoms as late as Nov. 22, 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 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; October 28 - November 1 between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day; October 28 - October 31 between 6:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.; November 1 between 6:30 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.; October 30 between 9:20 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.; November 1 from 10:15 p.m. to close
- Office of Dr. Eli Eilenberg, 150 James St, Lakewood: October 31 between 11:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.
- Four Corners Bagel & Café, 150 James St, Lakewood: October 31 between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- Eat a Pita, 116 Clifton Ave, Lakewood; Oct. 15 between 7 p.m. and 10 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 infection in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth-weight baby.
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.
Ocean County isn't the only area faced with a measles outbreak; New York's Rockland County has 46 confirmed measles cases and nine more suspected.
Anyone who suspects they were exposed should call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department so special arrangements can be made for an evaluation. This also protects other people and medical staff from possible infection.
Thousands of mumps-measles-rubella, or MMR, vaccine doses were administered last week in Lakewood.
Measles is a highly contagious disease and 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.
Symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.
Anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not had measles is at risk if they are exposed, according to state officials.
“Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles,” said Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist. “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.”
It is urged that everyone should check to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations. Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles. Anyone unsure of their vaccination status should call their doctor as well. Blood tests can be used to test for immunity. 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. For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.
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