Measles has been confirmed in eight Westchester County children, six are siblings, and all are from Northern Westchester. None of the children attend public schools or childcare programs. The children range in age from six months to 14 years old.
The Westchester County Department of Health is working with the families and healthcare providers to identify locations where the children may have exposed others. The children, who were not vaccinated, appear to have been exposed to Measles in Rockland County and Brooklyn where there have been ongoing outbreaks.
Anyone who has not been vaccinated can get the vaccine free through the Westchester County Health Department. Call 914-995-5800 for an appointment.
Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD urged parents of unvaccinated children to make it a priority for their children to receive the MMR vaccine, which covers measles, mumps and rubella.
Amler said: “With the increasing number of measles cases in our surrounding area, I strongly urge all parents who have not vaccinated their children againstmeasles to reconsider. Measles is highly contagious, and nine out of 10 people who are not immune and are exposed to measles will become infected. People can spread measles before they even know they are sick. People without immunity can catch measles just by being in a room for up to two hours after a person with measles has left. Measles can be a serious infection which can result in pneumonia, swelling of the brain, hearing loss and death.”
Measles is a viral disease that starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles is highly contagious and is spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing. Measles infection can be serious and more severe in young infants, pregnant women and people with a weak immune system. People are at risk for getting sick up to 21 days after being exposed.
Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine or have had a lab test confirming immunity.
Anyone who believes they may have been exposed should contact their healthcare provider.
**VIEW FULL PRESS CONFERENCE HERE**