Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was joined by the County’s Commissioner of Health Dr. Larry Eisenstein, NUMC board chairman George Tsunis, and Senator Kevin Thomas today to address concerns about the increase in cases of the measles in the New York area. Some regions of New York State are currently experiencing a measles outbreak, including the lower Hudson Valley and parts of New York City. Since late December 2018, there have been over 450 confirmed cases in this region.
“Recognizing that New York City has declared a public health emergency, we want to urge residents to be aware of symptoms and take precautions in advance of upcoming holiday travel,” said County Executive Curran. “The health and safety of our residents is top priority. While there hasn’t been a case in Nassau County since 2013, I want to urge residents to get vaccinated. The measles vaccine works. It is time-tested, safe and effective against this potentially fatal and easily spread disease.”
“We have been very vigilant, and we are monitoring the situation closely. The measles vaccine is safe and has been available for more than 50 years,” said Commissioner Eisenstein. “Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles. Anyone who has received two doses of a measles-containing vaccine is highly unlikely to contract the disease. If you’re unsure if you’re protected, check with your healthcare provider or visit NUMC clinics or Long Island Federally Qualified Centers.”
“Every resident of Nassau County should know that Nassau University Medical Center is their resource. If someone thinks their child may have the Measles, go to the Emergency Room. If you or your child is un-vaccinated, Nassau University Medical Center will provide you a vaccine, no matter if you can afford it or have health insurance. If your child is not vaccinated, don’t wait, vaccinate,” said NUMC board chairman George Tsunis.
Nassau County has not had a case of measles since 2013. Nassau County continues to have high vaccination rates for measles and remains on alert. The latest vaccination rates for measles in Nassau County include:
Nassau County Religious Exemption:
Residents can get the vaccine from their healthcare providers or they can visit the NUMC Primary Care Clinic located at 2201 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554. Vaccines will also be provided at the Long Island Federally Qualified Centers listed below. Immunizations will be provided to anyone that visits these facilities whether or not they have health insurance.
Nassau’s Long Island Federally Qualified Centers:
The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected. Measles typically begins with a high fever, and several days later a characteristic rash appears on the face and then spreads over the body. Among serious complications, one in 20 patients get pneumonia, and one in 1,000 get brain swelling that can lead to seizures, deafness or intellectual disability. According to the CDC, approximately one in every 1,000 children who get measles dies.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads to others through coughing and sneezing. The measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected.
Residents with concerns can call Nassau County Department of Health at 516-227-9697 or call their healthcare provider.