Measles Outbreak Grows to 20 Cases in NYC

The outbreak began in upper Manhattan and the Bronx

A measles outbreak in New York City has grown to 20 cases after one more adult patient has been confirmed to have the contagious virus, the Health Department said Tuesday.

The latest case puts the total at nine children and 11 adults.

The outbreak began in upper Manhattan and the Bronx; one case was identified in Brooklyn last week. The Health Department did not say Tuesday where the latest case had been identified.

The initial cases were in Inwood and Washington Heights in Manhattan, and in High Bridge, Morrisania and the Central Bronx, health officials say. 

Authorities are working to identify the source of the outbreak, and are urging vaccinations for those who haven't had them. The first case was reported in February.

Four of the affected children were too young to have been vaccinated; three who had been vaccinated were 13 to 15 months old and two others had not been vaccinated by parental choice, the Health Department said. The affected adults range in age from 22 to 63 years. 

Measles is a viral infection characterized by a generalized rash and high fever, accompanied by cough, red eyes and runny nose, lasting five to six days. The illness typically begins with a rash on the face and then moves down the body, and may include the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. 

As many as one in three people with measles develop complications, which can be serious and may include pneumonia, miscarriage, brain inflammation, hospitalization and death. Infants, people who have a weakened immune system and non-immune pregnant women are at highest risk of severe illness and complications. 

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