OCEAN COUNTY – There remains 18 confirmed and six suspected cases of measles in the county as of Friday, health officials reported.
The Ocean County Health Department is now reaching out to nearly 90 people who recently attended an invitation-only event, who were exposed to the disease. The Department did not offer any other information on that event.
“While it is understandable that many would like to file this outbreak into the history books, we must continue to be vigilant and to take all necessary precautions to avoid an escalation of this measles outbreak,” OCHD Coordinator Daniel E. Regenye said. “The unchanged number of confirmed cases demonstrates the effectiveness of public health measures already put into place and we are grateful for the efforts of community leaders and members of the public who have embraced and amplified the messaging from the Ocean County Health Department.
“Our message now is to remain informed on the status of potential measles exposure, insure that one’s family is fully vaccinated and protected, and encourage others in the community to do likewise as we work towards the eventual eradication of measles in our County,” Regenye said.
This outbreak was first reported in late October. Since then, the Department has coordinated with other entities in the coordination, delivery or administration of 12,400 MMR vaccinations.
People should check their immunization records to make sure they are up to date on vaccinations. If they show signs of measles – fever, rash, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite, pink eye – they should contact their healthcare provider before showing up to the office so arrangements for treatment without exposing others can be made.
People can become ill 5-21 days after exposure to measles. It can be spread through coughing and sneezing and live on surfaces and in the air up to two hours.
“The present measles outbreak is a true public health crisis which warrants the full attention of not only the Ocean County Health Department, but also all medical providers in the outbreak area,” Regenye said.
For more information, visit ochd.org or the state health department’s measles page at state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/measles.shtml.