Measles has been confirmed in eight unvaccinated children from northern Westchester. The children range in age from 6 months to 14 years old. Two of the infected children developed pneumonia and had to be hospitalized as a result. While none of the infected children attend public schools or childcare programs, the Health Department is still in the process of gathering the information necessary to identify any locations where these children may have exposed others.
As our partner in protecting the public’s health, we need your assistance in educatingparents and guardians about the dangers of measles and the benefits of vaccination. The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and highly effective in preventing measles cases and containing outbreaks.
The Health Department will be offering Free MMR vaccinations at special clinics on the following dates and times:
April 12, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., 134 Court Street in White Plains
April 13, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 134 Court Street in White Plains
- April 16, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., 25 Moore Avenue in Mount Kisco
Anyone who would like to receive a vaccine at one of these clinics should register in advance for an appointment at www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60.
Residents are urged to communicate the importance of being fully vaccinated against measles with parents and guardians. Anyone who is unsure about his/her or their child’s vaccinationstatus can work with their health care provider’s office or school to obtain their vaccination records. Anyone who is unable to locate their vaccination record should get the MMR vaccine, as it is not harmful to receive additional doses. 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.
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 that results in pneumonia, swelling of the brain, hearing loss and death.
Measles symptoms start with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that usually appears two to four days after the fever begins and lasts five to six days. The rash begins at the hairline, moves to the face and neck, down the body and then to the arms and legs.
Measles is easily spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing, and infection can be 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.
If a child in your school or facility exhibits signs or symptoms of measles, please do not send them to a health care facility unannounced. Instead, contact the health care facility that they are planning to go to in advance so that arrangements can be made for them to be seen without placing others at risk for exposure.
If you have any questions about measles or the MMR vaccine, please call the Westchester County Department of Health at 914-813-5000. The latest information about measles can also be found on our website www.westchestergov.com/health.