Orange County Health Department warns of potential measles exposure in the Town of Monroe


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— The Orange County Department of Health is advising residents of a potential measles exposure in a taxi service vehicle in the Town of Monroe.

Residents who may have used Motty’s Taxi service from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, may have been exposed to measles.

If a person is immune to measles, it is unlikely that he or she would become ill if exposed. A person is considered immune if he or she was born before Jan. 1, 1957, has received two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine or has a lab test confirming immunity. Those individuals who are not immune or not sure if they have been vaccinated are at risk of developing measles.

Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis (reddened eyes) and/or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear in 10-12 days after exposure but may begin as early as seven days or take as long as 21 days.

The Orange County Health Department recommends:

• All taxi riders should monitor for signs and symptoms of measles through Dec. 5.

• If you do become ill, you should seek appropriate medical care immediately:

• Contact your health care provider or emergency department before seeking care to avoid exposing others to illness;

• Do not go to work, school or other public places; and

• Notify the local health department where you live about your possible exposure to measles.

• Individuals who are not certain if they are immune to measles, or unsure of their MMR vaccination status, should receive an MMR vaccine as soon as possible. You should contact your health care provider or the Orange County Health Department for further guidance.

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. Symptoms generally appear in two stages.

In the first stage, which lasts two to four days, the individual may have a runny nose, cough and a slight fever. Eyes may become reddened and sensitive to light while the fever gradually rises each day, often peaking as high as 103° to 105° F. Small bluish white spots surrounded by a reddish area may also appear on the inside of the mouth.

The second stage begins on the third to seventh day and consists of a red blotchy rash lasting five to six days. The rash usually begins on the face and then spreads downward and outward, reaching the hands and feet. The rash fades in the same order that it appeared, from head to lower extremities. A person can spread measles from 4 days before the onset of rash through 4 days after the rash begins. Although measles is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age.

Common complications from measles include diarrhea, ear infections and pneumonia. Measles can cause serious illness requiring hospitalization. Some people will die from complications. Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of early labor, miscarriage and low birth weight infants. Measles can be more severe in people with weak immune systems.

The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Children 12 months of age and older and adults are recommended to receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine, given at least 28 days apart, to be optimally protected.

For more information about measles, please visit https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170/ and http://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the local health department in the county where you live.



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