OCEAN COUNTY – The numbers keep rising.
As of Friday, the Ocean County Health Department said there were 14 confirmed and 10 suspected cases of measles.
Health department officials said they have administered 12,400 doses of the MMR vaccine since the onset of the measles outbreak, mostly centered in Lakewood. Seven public health clinical nurses and four health educators and other department personnel have been dispatched to help in the response.
The Department has also issued numerous orders of isolation and orders of quarantine to protect the public.
“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,” Daniel E. Regenye, Ocean County Public Health Coordinator, said.
Statistics show that up to 30 percent of measles cases can lead to complications like pneumonia, corneal ulceration, brain scarring or death. Infants and pregnant women are very susceptible to complications.
Only those who have already had the measles or are properly immunized are not susceptible.
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.