ALBANY — The New York State Department of Health, working closely with the Wyoming County Health Department, has confirmed five cases of measles within a local Mennonite community.
The state and county health departments are working to determine whether there were additional exposures and to advise people who may have experienced symptoms consistent with measles to contact Wyoming County Department of Health or their health care provider.
Wyoming County health officials are actively engaging the Mennonite community to discuss the importance of getting vaccinated to prevent the spread of measles. Additionally, the state Department of Health has issued a health advisory to regional health care providers to notify them of the cases and potential for exposure. Health care providers should report all suspected cases of measles to their local health department. Contact the Wyoming County Department of Health for more information.
The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals should receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be fully protected. If a person is unsure if they are immune, they should contact their health care provider.
In New York State, measles immunization is required of children enrolled in schools, daycare, and pre-kindergarten. Since August 1990, college students have also been required to demonstrate immunity against measles.
A new requirement Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law in June ended all non-medical exemptions for vaccines required for children to attend all public, private and parochial schools, as well as childcare programs.
Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have had measles disease, or have a lab test confirming immunity. Individuals who are not immune to measles and are exposed are at risk for developing measles.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people. People first develop a fever, then may have a cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by appearance of a rash. People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.
Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days after exposure.
More information about measles can be found at: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170/