OCEAN COUNTY – There are now six confirmed cases of measles in Ocean County, the Ocean County Health Department confirmed to Jersey Shore Online. In addition there are also seven potential cases under investigation.
OCHD spokesman Brian Rumpf said the department’s epidemiologist is conducting an in-depth investigation of who these persons may have been in contact with and alert them of possible exposure to the disease.
These individuals could have exposed others to the infection while in Ocean County between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1.
Anyone who visited the following locations may have been exposed to measles:
• Schul Satmar, 405 Forest Avenue, Lakewood – October 28 – November 1 between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
October 28 – October 31 between 6:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. (morning of Nov. 1)
November 1 between 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
• CHEMED Health Center, 1771 Madison Ave, Lakewood
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.
The Department recommends that anyone who visited any of the locations listed above during the specified dates/times should contact a health provider immediately. If you have been exposed, you are at risk if you have not been vaccinated or have not had measles.
Non-immunized children are not automatically excluded from school, officials said, in light of recent confirmed and suspected cases of measles centered around Lakewood.
Ocean County Health Department spokesman Brian Rumpf said that while the department encourages vaccinations of eligible infants, toddlers, and school-aged children, there is no automatic exclusion from school those children that are not vaccinated.
Where there is a confirmed case of the measles, children “may be subject to an order of exclusion,” Rumpf said.
The local health department—in this case, OCHD—would determine if an unvaccinated student should be excluded from school, health department Public Health Coordinator Daniel E. Regenye said. “Public health authorities will require the exclusion of unvaccinated students and staff in the event a case (or unvaccinated contact) of measles attends the school while infectious.”
The New Jersey Department of Health, in general, does not recommend school closings. School officials should speak with health department officials before making any such decisions.
“People are reminded to check their immunization records and if there is any sign of symptoms to contact your healthcare provider prior to showing up at that provider’s office so that appropriate arrangements can be made for examination or treatment,” Rumpf said.
Schools should check staff and student immunization records to ensure everyone is up to date on their MMR vaccines. Preschool children are required to receive MMR dose by 15 months. School-age children should have two doses of the vaccine.
Measles can spread four days before symptoms show and four days after a rash. Those exposed to someone infected can become sick 5-21 days after exposure. It spreads through coughing and sneezing and can live in the air for up to two hours.
Symptoms include fever, rash, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite, and pink eye.