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Published On: Fri, Mar 7th, 2014

Measles outbreak strikes NYC, 16 cases reported in northern Manhattan, the Bronx

The New York City Health Department announced today that it has identified 16 cases of measles in northern Manhattan and the Bronx.

Measles rash Image/CDC

Measles rash
Image/CDC

Seven adult cases and 9 pediatric cases have been identified to date. To date, there have been four hospitalizations as a result of this outbreak.

New Yorkers are urged to make sure all household members, including young children, are vaccinated.

The Health Department is working with New York City hospitals to prevent additional exposure to the virus in emergency departments.

The Health Department is also asking pediatric-care facilities in Manhattan and the Bronx to identify and vaccinate children who have not received the MMR vaccine and to give the second dose of MMR vaccine to children at the next medical visit.

Measles (rubeola) is a highly contagious rash illness that is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with respiratory droplets or airborne spread. After exposure, up to 90% of susceptible persons develop measles. The average incubation period for measles is 10 to 12 days from exposure to prodrome and 14 days from exposure to rash (range: 7–21 days).

Persons with measles are infectious 4 days before through 4 days after rash onset. The most commonly reported complications associated with measles infection were pneumonia, otitis media, and diarrhea.

For every 1,000 reported measles cases, approximately one case of encephalitis and two to three deaths occur.

The NYC Health Department offers the following recommendations to protect yourself and your family from measles:

  • Babies should receive the first measles vaccine at 12 months of age. Children older than 12 months of age who have not yet received a measles vaccine (given as MMR or Measles-Mumps-Rubella) should be vaccinated as soon as possible. Several children who have developed measles were not vaccinated at 12 months of age.
  • Vaccinating older children is the best way to protect children who are too young to receive the MMR vaccine.
  • Two doses of measles vaccine are required for full protection. Children usually get the second measles shot at 4 to 6 years of age before going to school.
  • Older children and adults who have not received two measles shots may be at risk of infection.
  • Vaccinations are very safe. The benefits far outweigh any risks. Side effects are usually mild, such as soreness where the shot was given.
  • Be sure that you and your family are fully vaccinated prior to international travel. Measles is found in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
  • Visit your doctor or call 311 to find out where to get vaccinated.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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