Measles has been confirmed in a 16-year-old who traveled to the United States on vacation, according to New Jersey health officials.

Map of New Jersey/ National Atlas of the United States
Map of New Jersey/ National Atlas of the United States

The person may have exposed others in New Jersey while visiting between May 12 and 15 while infectious. People who came in contact with this person could develop symptoms as late as June 5.

Who is at risk?

The person stayed at the Ramada Rochelle Park, 375 West Passaic Street in Rochelle Park. Persons who visited the Ramada on May 12 until 11 AM on May 13 might have been exposed to measles.

The teenager was hospitalized at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, and may have exposed people from 9am on May 13 until 1am on May 14; and also on May 15 from 3 to 5 pm.

Persons who visited the hospital between these dates and times might have been exposed to measles.

The Valley Hospital is in the process of contacting those individuals who were potentially exposed. The Department of Health is working with local health officials to identify and notify people who might have been exposed during the time the person was infectious. Anyone who suspects an exposure is urged to call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department. Special arrangements can be made for evaluation while also protecting other patients and medical staff from possible infection.

Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. It can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Measles infection in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth-weight baby. Measles is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.

Anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not had measles is at risk if they are exposed.

People who travel internationally or who come in contact with international travelers are at particular risk for exposure to measles. Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world, including areas in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. “A dose of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for all children 12 to 15 months of age with a second shot recommended at 4 to 6 years of age,” said Assistant Commissioner Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist. “The CDC also recommends that all people 6 months of age and older who will be traveling internationally be protected against measles.”

LISTEN: Travel medicine: An interview with Dr. Christopher Sanford

Before international travel:

  • Infants 6 through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine. Infants who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose separated by at least 28 days).
  • Children 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
  • Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.