OCEAN COUNTY – A second case of the measles has been confirmed in Ocean County, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.
The department is warning residents about the highly contagious disease in an Ocean County resident who could have exposed others on March 5. Officials continue to investigate whether these two recent cases are connected to the previous measles outbreak that was declared over on January.
Anyone who visited the LabCorp location at 1352 River Avenue in Lakewood on March 5 from 3:45 p.m. to close might have been exposed to the disease.
The Department recommends that anyone who visited this location during the specified date/time should contact a health provider immediately to discuss potential exposure and risk of developing the measles. You could be at risk if you have not been vaccinated or have not had measles. Individuals potentially exposed, if infected, could develop symptoms as late as March 25.
If you suspect you have been exposed, call your health care provider before showing up, to avoid the risk of exposing others.
Symptoms of measles 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.
The illness can be spread through the air through coughs or sneezes and can be spread through 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.”