Measles Outbreak in New York City
For the general public:
- Measles Outbreak Alert (5/30/13) [Yiddish version ] NEW
- Letter to school principals from the NYC Health Department [Yiddish version ]
- Letter to parents [Yiddish version]
- Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) Vaccine: What You Need to Know [Yiddish version]
- Health Bulletin #93: Start Smart: Vaccinate [Yiddish version]
For health care providers
- DOHMH Alert #23: Update on Measles in New York City - 7/22/2013 (PDF)
- Instructions for people with possible measles infection (PDF)
Other languages: [יידיש]
- Instructions for people exposed to measles who are not
immune at time of exposure (includes people who receive
Other languages: [יידיש]
- DOHMH Alert #15: Update on Measles in New York City: New Vaccine Recommendations (PDF)
- Nasopharyngeal Swab Collection Instruction for Measles Testing (PDF)
- Alert #12: Update on Measles in New York City ��� 5/21/2013
- Alert #9: Measles in New York City ��� 4/12/2013
- CDC Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine Preventable Disease (Pink Book) Measles chapter
- Immunization Action Coalition: Ask the Experts
- Poster: Visitors are welcome. . . but germs are not
- Poster: Stop! Do you have fever, rash cough, trouble breathing? Tell the staff immediately.
What is measles?
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that causes fever and a rash. The last nation-wide epidemic occurred from 1989 through 1991; over 55,000 measles cases and 123 deaths were reported in the United States during this period. Measles continues to be endemic in most of the world. United States residents who travel overseas without being vaccinated risk becoming sick with measles after they return. In the U.S., a higher number of measles cases have been reported as of May, 2011 as compaerd to last year, including 111 cases and 9 outbreaks. Most cases reported in the U.S. were associated with international travel.
Who gets measles?
Anyone who is not vaccinated can get measles at any age. Most measles cases in the United States are associated with foreign travel.
More than 20 million cases of measles occur worldwide each year including in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
How is measles spread?
Spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing.
The disease is highly contagious, and can be transmitted from 4 days prior to the onset of the rash to 4 days after the onset. If one person has it, 90% of their susceptible close contacts will also become infected with the measles virus.
The virus resides in the mucus in the nose and throat of the infected person. When that person sneezes or coughs, droplets spray into the air. The infected mucus can land in other people’s noses or throats when they breathe or put their fingers in their mouth or nose after handling an infected surface. The virus remains active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to 2 hours. Measles spreads so easily that anyone who is not immunized will probably get it, eventually
What are the symptoms of measles?
Early symptoms include fever, which can reach 103-105 degrees F, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. About 2-4 days later, a rash of red spots develops on the face and then spreads over the entire body. Little white spots, called Koplik spots, may appear on the gums and inside of the cheeks.
How soon do symptoms appear?
Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure to an infected person; symptoms may start as early as 7 days or as late as 21 days after exposure.
When and for how long is a person able to spread measles?
A person is able to spread measles from 4 days before to 4 days after the appearance of the rash.
Does past infection make a person immune?
Yes. Infection produces lifelong immunity.
What is the vaccine for measles?
Measles vaccine is given on or after a child's first birthday. It is usually combined with mumps and rubella vaccines in a formulation known as MMR (measles, mumps, rubella). A second dose of measles vaccine is recommended before children enter school at 4 to 6 years of age. Anyone who has received 2 doses of measles vaccine is much less likely to develop measles. For information on where your child can get vaccinated, please call 311.
What is the treatment for measles?There is no specific treatment for measles.
What are the complications associated with measles?About one-third of reported measles cases have at least one complication. Complications of measles can include diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, seizures, infections of the brain and nervous system, and death. In pregnant women, measles can cause miscarriages and birth defects. Measles is more severe in infants, pregnant women, and persons 15 years of age and older.
How can measles be prevented?
The best way to prevent measles is with vaccination. Anyone born after January 1, 1957, who does not have a blood test proving measles immunity, should receive 2 doses of measles vaccine as MMR (the measles, mumps, rubella combination vaccine). The first vaccine dose should be given at 12 months of age, and the second dose should be given at 4 years of age. Measles vaccine is required of all children enrolled in schools, pre-kindergarten and daycare programs. Since August 1, 1990, measles vaccine has also been required of college students unless they can prove they are already immune.
For more information on where your child can be vaccinated, call 311.
Last Updated May 23, 2013