Large Spike in Number of Lakewood Measles Cases

Lakewood N.J. -

The largest spike in confirmed measles cases in the Lakewood area was reported last week, putting the total tally at 33 as of this Sunday. The new figure leaves no more cases under investigation.

The Ocean County Health Department is carefully tracking the spread of the virus in the area and continues to encourage all in the area to be fully vaccinated.

Immunization has been shown to provide 97 percent protection against the potentially dangerous illness. The airborne virus is highly contagious to those who have not been vaccinated.

As of early last week, the county had only 19 confirmed cases, but by Friday that number had spiked to 33.

The present outbreak began in New Square immediately after Sukkos and since then has spread to multiple Orthodox communities, recently as far away as Chicago. Most cases are linked to an ongoing measles epidemic in Eretz Yisrael where nearly 2,000 cases have been confirmed.

The first case of the recent outbreak in the area was reported in Lakewood in mid-October. While the outbreak is ongoing, health officials have highly recommended that schools and day care centers exclude non-vaccinated children from their facilities.

An outbreak is officially declared over 42 days after the last reported infection.