The New Jersey Department of Health is warning residents that two individuals with measles may have exposed others in New Jersey.
If you have been exposed, you are at risk if you have not been vaccinated or have not had measles. Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. It can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Measles infection in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth-weight baby. Measles is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.
In two unrelated incidents, an individual with measles stopped briefly in the state on April 30 while on a tour bus traveling from Niagara Falls, New York, to Washington. D.C.; and a Bergen County resident developed measles after contact with an international traveler who was ill with measles.
The Department of Health recommends that anyone who visited the locations listed below during the dates/times listed below, contact a health provider immediately to discuss potential exposure and risk of developing the illness. Exposed individuals could develop symptoms as late as May 23.
Anyone who visited the following locations may have been exposed to measles:
- Columbia Travel Center, I-80 at Rt. 94, 2 Simpson Rd, Columbia, NJ 07832 (April 30, between 9:45 a.m. and 12:20 p.m.)
- Towne Centre at Englewood apartments, 20 W Palisade Ave, Englewood, NJ 07631 (April 24 – May 2 – any time)
- Renaissance Office Center, 15 Engle St, Englewood, NJ 07631 (April 30, between 1 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.)
- Newark Liberty International Airport, Terminal C (May 2, between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.)
“Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles,” said Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist. “We urge everyone to check to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations. Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it protects others around you who are too young to get the vaccine or can’t receive it for medical reasons. If you’re planning an international trip, the World Health Organization recommends that adults or adolescents unsure of their immune status get a dose of measles vaccine before traveling,” Dr. Tan added.
Before international travel:
- Infants 6 through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine. Infants who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose separated by at least 28 days).
- Children 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
- Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.
Information on what to do if you’ve been exposed to measles is available on their website.
More information about measles, contact your health care provider, or visit the New Jersey Department of Health website.