The New York State Department of Health has issued an advisory to Rockland County residents concerning the risk presented by an unvaccinated international traveler who was diagnosed with measles. The traveler had visited several locations in the community of New Square between September 28 and October 1, prompting the Department of Health to notify the community of the risk of exposure.
“Individuals who were exposed and not immune to measles could develop signs and symptoms of measles 7-21 days after exposure.” In addition, the notice alerted health care providers to have a high index of suspicion in patients who present with symptoms consistent with measles who have visited locations in the village of New Square where the infected traveler visited. Three locations were listed: Bais Medrash of New Square, the sukkah adjacent to Avir Yaakov Boys School, and Refuah Health Center.
Refuah Health Center (Refuah), a leading health care provider for the New Square community, reported that the traveler arrived from Israel early Friday morning on September 28, and was treated for a confirmed case of measles on September 29, Motzei Shabbos Chol Hamoed Succos.
Refuah announced that it is working closely with the New York State Department of Health, as well as the Rockland County Department of Health to contain the situation.
In response to measles related concerns raised by patients, on Wednesday, October 03, Refuah hosted a live teleconference with more than 260 participants. Caithy Zikorus, Family Nurse Practitioner at Refuah Health Center, fielded questions from numerous callers regarding the disease, and what can be done to prevent an outbreak.
In addition, Refuah urged all patients to check their medical records in order to ensure that they and their families are properly immunized, and urged individuals who are not immunized or unsure of their vaccination history to contact their primary care provider.
An MMR vaccine provides the most effective protection against measles-even if administered up to 72 hours after exposure. When an individual receives the required two doses of the vaccine, they have a greater than 97% of immunity.