OCEAN COUNTY – Two more cases of measles have been confirmed in Ocean County, according to the New Jersey Department of Health. Ocean County residents may have been exposed to this highly contagious disease between October 25 and 30.
These two individuals developed symptoms of the disease after exposure to another who became infected after international travel.
The Department of Health is considering this an outbreak of measles in the community.
If you have visited any of the following location, you may have been exposed:
- NPGS, 231 Main St, Lakewood, NJ 08701: October 25 between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and October 29 between 2:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.
- Pizza Plus, 241 4th St, Lakewood, NJ 08701 on October 28 between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
If more exposure locations are identified, the health department will update the information on their webpage.
While the New Jersey Department of Health and the Ocean County Health Department work together to notify those who may have been exposed to the disease, officials remind everyone to stay alert and aware of the symptoms.
Measles symptoms include:
- High fever
- Runny nose
- Red, watery eyes.
Measles can cause serious illness such as pneumonia and encephalitis, and even miscarriage or premature birth in pregnant women.
As an airborne disease, measles spread through coughs or sneezes. People can also acquire the measles if they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.
The Department recommends that anyone who visited any of the locations listed above during the specified dates/times should contact a health provider immediately to discuss potential exposure and risk of developing the illness. If you have been exposed, you are at risk if you have not been vaccinated or have not had measles. Individuals potentially exposed, if infected, could develop symptoms as late as November 20.
“Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles,” said Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist.
If you suspect you have been exposed, officials recommend contacting your health care provider prior to going to a medical office or emergency room in order to protect other patients and staff from possible infection.
“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,” Dr. Tan added.
Prior to international travel, state health department officials recommend:
- Infants 6 through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine. Infants who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose separated by at least 28 days).
- Children 1 year and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
- Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.
For more information about measles, contact your health care provider, or visit the Department’s website.