Some areas of New York State are currently experiencing a measles outbreak, including Nassau County, the lower Hudson Valley and parts of New York City and in Suffolk County. We, here, at Nassau Community College want you to know what’s important to know about the measles virus and how it can affect you.
Measles spreads easily and can be dangerous to anyone who is not vaccinated. If you have questions about measles or the measles vaccine, call the New York State Measles Hotline at 888.364.4837.
Measles is a serious respiratory disease that causes a rash and fever. It is very contagious. You can catch it just by being in a room where someone with measles coughed or sneezed.
Symptoms usually appear 7-14 days after exposure but can take as long as 21 days. The first symptoms are usually:
A small number of people who get measles will need to be hospitalized and could die. Many people with measles have complications such as diarrhea, ear infections or pneumonia. They can also get a brain infection that can lead to permanent brain damage. 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.
A person with measles can pass it to others from 4 days before a rash appears through the 4th day after the rash appears.
There is no treatment but acetaminophen and ibuprofen may be taken to reduce a fever. People with measles also need bed rest and fluids. They also may need treatment for complications such as diarrhea, an ear infection or pneumonia.
Immediately call your local health department (Nassau County DOH 516.227.9697 or 516.742.6154) doctor or clinic for advice. Never been vaccinated? Get the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine within 3 days of being exposed. This may prevent you from getting measles. Some people may need an immune globulin shot -- antibodies to the measles virus. It should be given within 6 days of being
Getting the measles vaccine is the best way to prevent measles.