OCEAN COUNTY – Eighteen people, ages six months to 59 years old, have confirmed cases of measles, according to the Ocean County Health Department.
Six more people are suspected to have the disease as of Nov. 30. Those numbers are based on rash outbreaks that occurred between Oct. 17 and Nov. 24.
The Department continues to encourage families to vaccinate children who have been exposed to someone with measles.
While there are no known orders in place, the Department is encouraging the exclusion of non-vaccinated children from school, preschool and day care.
Measles symptoms include rash, fever, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite and pink eye. The disease is spread through coughing and sneezing, and can live on surfaces and in the air for up to two hours. If exposed, symptoms can emerge 5 to 21 days after exposure.
Measles can lead to serious complications in about 30 percent of cases. Pregnant women, infants, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most susceptible to complications.
Anyone who believes they have been exposed to measles should call their family physician and make arrangements prior to arriving at the office for treatment, to avoid exposing others.
For more information, visit ochd.org.