What to Know
- Officials say there have been 87 confirmed measles cases in Rockland County and nearly a dozen other cases are being investigated
- Measles is highly contagious and can stay in the air for up to two hours after a person has left the room
- Rockland County is not the only local area dealing with a measles outbreak, as Ocean County and Brooklyn have confirmed measles cases
A student at a New Jersey elementary school was diagnosed with measles as the outbreak in Rockland County grew to 87 confirmed cases, officials said.
Parents were notified Friday that a child who attends Hempstead Elementary school was among those confirmed cases.
Although some unvaccinated children have been asked to stay home during the outbreak, officials said they learned of this case after the 21-day incubation period, so no further action was taken.
Parents were asked to monitor their children for symptoms and provide their immunization status. The school has previously had a high immunization rate, said John Lyon, spokesman for Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
Measles is highly contagious. Young children, the immunocompromised, and non-immune pregnant women are at highest risk for severe complications. Measles is transmitted by airborne particles, droplets, and direct contact with the respiratory secretions of an infected person.
Measles typically presents in adults and children as an acute viral illness characterized by fever and generalized rash. The rash usually starts on the face, proceeds down the body, and may include the palms and soles. The rash lasts several days. Infected individuals are contagious from four days before rash onset through the fourth day after rash appearance.
Rockland officials encourage everyone to be up-to-date with the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine to help protect them in case of any future exposure to measles in Rockland.
To prevent the spread of illness, the Rockland County Health Department advises anyone who may have measles to contact their health care provider, local clinic, or local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.
Rockland County is not the only local area dealing with a measles outbreak, as Ocean County and Brooklyn have faced confirmed measles cases in recent weeks as well.