LAKEWOOD – Health department officials are warning residents of yet another confirmed case of measles in an Ocean County resident. Anyone who visited the Center for Health Education Medicine and Dentistry (CHEMED) in Lakewood on July 10 between 1:45 and 6 p.m. may have been exposed.
The New Jersey Department of Health suggests that anyone who visited CHEMED during those specified dates/times should contact a health provider 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 July 31.
If you suspect you have been exposed to the measles, officials advise calling a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department to protect 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.
“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.”
Information on what to do if you’ve been exposed to measles can be found at state.nj.us/health/cd/documents/topics/measles/measles_exposure_guidance_public.pdf.
For more information about measles, contact your health care provider, or visit the New Jersey Department of Health website at state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/measles.shtml.