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Health Department

Posted on: March 23, 2024

Nassau County Department of Health Reports a Confirmed Case of Measles

Mineola, NY – The Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) has been notified of a laboratory confirmed case of measles in an unvaccinated child. NCDOH, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is investigating the case and will take appropriate action based on the findings.

“Nassau County Department of Health is closely investigating potential exposures and taking the necessary proactive steps to prevent the spread of measles,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman. “We strongly encourage all residents to protect their health by ensuring they are up-to-date on important, lifesaving immunizations.”

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 usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days after exposure.

To prevent the spread of illness, NCDOH is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.

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 were exposed are at risk for developing measles. Preventive treatment for measles is recommended for those without evidence of immunity as follows: MMR vaccine can be given to eligible exposed individuals within 72 hours of exposure OR immune globulin can be administered within 6 days of exposure.

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 healthcare provider. Typically, the first dose of MMR vaccine should be given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose should be given at four to six years of age (age of school entry), although individuals may also be vaccinated later in life. 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.

For additional information about measles, visit the NYSDOH’s website here. Information about the measles vaccine can be found here

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