The New Jersey Department of Health is warning residents of a 6th confirmed measles case associated with the current outbreak in Ocean County that potentially exposed individuals on March 13.
An Ocean County infant visited the Emergency Department at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch and potentially exposed individuals on March 13 from 7:30 to 10:15 p.m.
Monmouth Medical Center is in the process of contacting those individuals who were potentially exposed. The Department is working with local health officials to identify and notify people who might have been exposed during the time the individuals were infectious. For a comprehensive list of exposures identified to date related to this outbreak, please visit the Department’s measles page.
The Department recommends that anyone who visited the location listed above during the specified dates/times should contact a health provider immediately to discuss potential exposure and risk of developing the illness. If you have been exposed, you are at risk if you have not been vaccinated or have not had measles. Individuals potentially exposed on these dates, if infected, could develop symptoms as late as April 3.
Anyone who suspects an exposure is urged to call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department. Special arrangements can be made for evaluation while also protecting other patients and medical staff from possible infection.
Measles symptoms include 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.
Anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not had measles is at risk if they are exposed. “Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles,” said Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist.
“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. If you’re 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,” Dr. Tan added.