The measles outbreak in Rockland County continues to surge as the Department of Health confirms 68 new cases.
In addition, there are also 11 suspected cases that the department is continuing to investigate.
The outbreak began with visitors to and from Israel in September. Since then the number continues to grow as unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children and adults are exposed, the department said.
The outbreak has mainly affected the Orthodox Jewish community in New Square, Spring Valley, and Monsey, health officials said.
All schools within the Village of New Square and any school with less than an 80 percent MMR vaccination rate within the geographical area affected by the measles outbreak (Spring Valley, Monsey) will be required to keep un- or under-vaccinated students home until 21 days have passed since the last confirmed measles case in Rockland, said County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert.
This is a more restricted rate than the initial school exclusion that required schools with less than a 70 percent MMR vaccination rate. The order affects 34 schools in Rockland County.
Since the county began offering the vaccine, a record 6,000 people have received the vaccine, health officials said.
Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis (red watery eyes) or a runny nose. 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 seven days and as late as 21 days after exposure.
To prevent the spread of illness, the department 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.
For questions regarding measles, call the New York State Department of Health toll-free at 888-364-4837.
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