Suffolk Warns of Potential Measles Exposure

American Heart Health Month

Some Long Islanders may have been exposed to the measles last week and anyone with symptoms of this highly communicable disease is urged to contact their doctor immediately, Suffolk County officials warned.

An infant that recently arrived from overseas was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Emergency Room in West Islip, was released and later taken to HRHCare Martin Luther King Jr. Family Health Center in Wyandanch, according to the Suffolk County Department of Health. Anyone who is not fully immune to the measles and was at either location at the same time as the infant is considered exposed, officials said.

“Good Samaritan Hospital and HRHCare are reaching out to individuals who were exposed to measles on the dates of potential exposure,” said Dr. James Tomarken, the Suffolk health commissioner. “However, there may be others who were exposed and whose contact information we do not have. We ask anyone who was at these locations and may have been exposed to be alert for symptoms and to contact their health care providers immediately if they experience symptoms.”

Those potentially exposed include anyone in the Good Samaritan Hospital ER between 5:57 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 or at HRHCare Martin Luther King Jr. Health Center in Wyandanch between 9:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. on Jan. 25.

Officials urge anyone who may have been exposed to call their health care providers before arrival or, if that’s not possible, inform the office immediately upon arrival to void infecting anyone in the waiting room.

Individuals who may be at high-risk for complications from measles include children less than 1 year of age, pregnant women and immunocompromised persons.
For more information, call Good Samaritan Hospital at 631-376-3000, HRHCare at 516-214-8020 or the SCDHS Bureau of Communicable Disease Control at 631-854-0333.

Measles is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people or by airborne transmission. Measles is one of the most contagious communicable diseases and can be contracted at any age.

Measles symptoms generally appear in two stages: early symptoms include a runny nose, cough and a fever. Eyes may become reddened and sensitive to light, while the fever may gradually rise each day. Later symptoms begin on the third day and consist of a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and a red, blotchy rash lasting four to seven days. The rash usually begins on the face and then spreads over the entire body. Little white spots may also appear inside the mouth. Symptoms usually appear in 10-12 days after exposure, although they may occur as early as seven or as late as 21 days after exposure.