The number of measles cases in Rockland County has grown again to a high of 124 confirmed cases since the outbreak began in October.
County officials, including Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, are reminding residents that the measles outbreak continues in Rockland and that residents who have not received a vaccine should do so.
"Even in previously healthy children, measles can cause serious illness, such as pneumonia, requiring hospitalization," said Dr. Ruppert. "Measles may cause a pregnant woman to give birth prematurely. Measles complications can cause people to be hospitalized, including in intensive care units for newborns, children, and adults. We've had these measles complications right here in Rockland. The best way to prevent measles, and its complications, is to remain up-to-date with your measles vaccination."
The outbreak began with visitors to and from Israel in September, early October where more than 2,700 people have reportedly been affected.
Since then the number had continued to grow weekly as unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children and adults were exposed, the health department said.
The majority of the cases has mainly affected the Orthodox Jewish community in New Square, Spring Valley, and Monsey, health officials said.
In an effort to stop the spread of the illness, the Health Department and partners have provided more than 16,000 vaccinations. In New York State, measles immunization is required of children enrolled in schools, daycare, and pre-kindergarten.
The outbreak, already the largest in New York in decades, could continue to grow if everyone eligible does not receive a vaccination.
Measles 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.
Free MMR vaccines are available by calling the Rockland County Department of Health at 845-364-2497 or 845-364-2520 to schedule an appointment to get a free MMR vaccine at the Pomona health complex.
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