Despite the fact that reported measles cases seemed to have steadied last week, a county health official said that the measles outbreak is likely far from over and reported that as many as 86 individuals might have been exposed to the virus as a recent event.
“While it is understandable that many would like to file this outbreak into the history books, we must continue to be vigilant and take all necessary precautions to avoid an escalation of this measles outbreak,” said Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator Daniel E. Regenye.
As of this past Monday, the county had 18 confirmed cases and six more under investigation. Mr. Regenye credited the vaccination and public health information campaign with the relative success at containing the highly contagious and potentially dangerous illness.
The large scale exposure occurred at an “invitation only” event, where an individual with measles at a contagious stage was present. Health Department officials have worked to contact anybody who was present at the time.
State and county health officials have been regularly holding conference calls three times a week to share all relevant information on the outbreak and to work towards its containment.
Spread of measles in Lakewood has been linked to cases in Passaic and most recently in Chicago, where a vaccinated child who had reportedly visited Lakewood was diagnosed with the virus.
While immunization has been proven to be highly effective, a three percent chance of contracting the illness remains even after receiving both dosages of the vaccine.