The New York City Health Department is reporting at least six confirmed measles cases this month in the Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Individuals ranged in age from 11 months to 4 years. Five of the individuals were unvaccinated prior to exposure, including four because vaccination was delayed. One individual was too young to have received MMR. The fifth child had received one dose of MMR prior to exposure but was not immune (IgG negative).
Additionally, there are seven confirmed individuals with measles among New York State residents outside of NYC: five individuals acquired measles while in Israel, and two are individuals infected from exposure to a person with measles.
Complications include one child who was hospitalized with pneumonia and another child with otitis media. The initial and most recent individuals acquired measles while visiting Israel, where a large outbreak is currently occurring.
In the most recent data compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO), 339 cases have been reported in Israel from March through August of 2018.
A significant number of exposures occurred and additional persons with measles are expected to be identified.
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.
The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals should receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be fully protected.
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