A Letter from Office of the County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus
The Orange County Department of Health is advising residents of a confirmed positive case of measles in the County. 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 called Koplik’s spots 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 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.
A person is considered immune and is unlikely to get measles if they were born before January 1, 1957, have received two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine or have a lab test confirming immunity.
Those individuals lacking immunity or not sure if they have been vaccinated are at risk of developing measles. Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis and/or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear in 10-12 days after exposure, but may appear as early as 7 days and may take as long as 21 days. Persons who become ill should contact their primary care provider by phone or the Orange County Department of Health at (845) 291-2330 before seeking care to avoid exposing others to the illness.
The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals are recommended to receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine to be protected. Please contact your primary care provider for vaccination recommendations.
For more information about measles, please visit https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170/