The number of suspected measles cases in Rockland County continues to grow amid the largest measles outbreak in the state in decades.
Rockland County Health officials announced on Monday that there are 77 confirmed cases of measles in the county, up from 74 last week, as well as 14 suspected cases, up from four, that are being investigated.
The largest outbreak occurred in 1991, when 2,306 cases of measles were confirmed statewide.
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 majority of the cases 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.
More than 6,000 vaccinations have been given since the outbreak began.
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.
For questions regarding measles, call the New York State Department of Health toll-free at 888-364-4837.
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