As the number of measles cases in Rockland County surges to 33 with an additional eight suspected cases, officials are urging all residents who have not been vaccinated to do so.
Since the outbreak began in late September, more than 2,000 people in the county have received the vaccine which covers the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), according to health department officials.
Most of the original cases, including both adults and children, began in Monsey and New Square, according to the state Health Department.
But since then, additional cases have occurred in Nanuet, New City and Montvale, New Jersey.
The virus is believed to have originated with visitors to Israel, which is also experiencing a measles outbreak.
"We encourage everyone to be up-to-date with the MMR vaccine to help protect them in case of any future exposure to measles in Rockland," said Dr. Ruppert., County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert.
The Health Department has also ordered non-immunized students to stay home until Nov. 3, which is 21 days from the last known exposure on Oct. 12.
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.
To prevent the spread of illness, the department is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.
For questions regarding measles, call the New York State Department of Health toll-free at 888-364-4837.
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