3d illustration Measles virus

An adult who recently arrived from outside the U.S. was recently confirmed as having the first case of the measles on Long Island since outbreaks elsewhere in New York have been reported, officials said.

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services said that the case does not appear to be related to any current measles cases in New York State, but it is jointly investigating the case with the New York State Department of Health and will take appropriate action based on the findings. 

“Similar to other cases across the nation, Suffolk County has seen firsthand what can occur when someone does not receive a measles vaccination,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, noting that he supports a state bill that would create a state-backed awareness campaign for vaccines. “Since this public health issue that cannot be contained by municipal borders, it is critical that New York State make every concerted effort to dispel the notion that vaccines are unsafe.”

Suffolk health officials warned that anyone who visited the BNB bank at 48 East Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays on Saturday April 20 from 12:15 p.m. until the bank closed at 1 p.m. may have been exposed to measles.

Those who were in the bank at that time are urged to contact the Suffolk DHS’ Public Health staff at 631-854-0333 during business hours. After hours and on the weekend, call 631-852-4820.

Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have had measles disease, or have a lab test confirming immunity. To prevent the spread of illness, the health department is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people. People first develop a fever, then may have a cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by appearance of a rash. People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash. Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days after exposure. The best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. 

Following the biggest outbreak in New York City since 1990, municipal virus investigators are on the prowl for unvaccinated Williamsburg residents amid a growing measles outbreak affecting Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community, and the city sickness sleuths have already slapped parents with summonses for allegedly failing to get their kids inoculated, according to the Department of Health.

-With Brooklyn Paper

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