2019 Measles Update

I want to let everyone in the practice know that the number of confirmed Measles cases in Rockland county, our neighboring county, is continuing to rise. It is up to a total of 96 confirmed cases. There have also been 18 documented cases in Ocean county, NJ. Please, if you are one of our families, you are a Rockland county resident, and your child is under the age of the typical first MMR vaccine (12 to 15 months), make an appointment to have your child immunized so as to protect them.

Dosage Information:

One dose of the MMR vaccine is 93% protective as per the CDC.   A child can be immunized with the MMR vaccine as young as 6 months of age. This will give them significant protection. They will still need to have their two other doses at 12-15 months and 4 years of age for school. It is worth the additional dose.  The commissioner of the the Rockland County Department of Health has stated that ” all of Rockland county has essentially been exposed.”  Thus, if you have unimmunized or underimmunized members of your family, do not take any chances by visiting public places in Rockland county.

Measles is a viral illness that leads to high fevers, red, watery eyes, sore throat, runny nose, cough, and a distinctive rash. The rash develops 2-4 days after the fever begins and lasts 5-6 days total. It consists of small red spots that could be slightly raised.  It starts at the hairline, and spreads downward to the face and neck, and then down the body to the arms and legs.  As it is an airborne virus, it is highly contagious. It can actually survive in the air as long as 2 hours after an infected person has left an area. The infected person is considered contagious for 4 days before the rash even starts and for 4 days after it begins.  Complications include: pneumonia ( 1 in 20 cases; the most common cause of mortality in young children with Measles), severe diarrhea, and encephalitis ( 1 in 1000 cases– a brain infection that causes swelling and and can lead to convulsions, deafness, and permanent cognitive disability).
Please do not take any chances during this outbreak. Awareness and being proactive about your child’s immunization status is your best defense.