OCEAN COUNTY – The county and state health departments recently confirmed a case of measles in Lakewood and now the Ocean County Health Department urges residents to practice caution.
Prior to the vaccine, there were anywhere from 3 to 4 million measles cases reported each year in the US. Over time, immunization brought that number down to just 3 cases in New Jersey in 2017. Thus, last week’s diagnosis carries with it some concerns.
“Residents are first urged to review their vaccination history for themselves and their children, calling their physician to confirm their information if necessary,” stated the OCHD in a press release. “In the event any symptoms of measles infection are detected, it is highly recommended that a call be placed to one’s primary care physician who will advise what precautions should be taken and the manner in which an office visit may be arranged.”
Ocean County officials recommend that if you suspect you are infected with measles, do not show up at your health care provider without having made these arrangements in order to protect other patients and staff.
Measles is highly contagious, with an airborne contagion rate of up to 90 percent. OCHD stated that it can linger for up to two hours beyond the time in which the infected person is in the area.
“Measles symptoms usually develop 10 to 12 days after exposure to an infected person and generally last from 7 to 10 days,” stated OCHD.
- A fever which may exceed 104 degrees
- Runny nose
- Inflamed eyes
These symptoms can be followed by small white dots which may form inside the mouth 2 to 3 days after the start of symptoms and a red flat rash which usually starts on the face before spreading to other parts of the body 3 to 5 days after the start of symptoms.
As an airborne disease, measles usually spreads through coughs and sneezes. It can also infect through saliva and nasal secretions.
If you fear you are infected with measles, isolate yourself from others and seek medical attention.
For more information, visit ochd.org.