Measles Case Reported in Nassau

Measles virus or virus
3d illustration Measles virus

Nassau County’s second case of measles in an adult this year has been confirmed, health officials said Thursday. 

The Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) is investigating the case in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health. NCDOH released a list of times and places when the public may have been exposed.

“We urge anyone who may have any symptoms of the disease to report it immediately to a doctor,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.

Measles is a very contagious and serious respiratory disease that causes a rash and fever. It can be caught by being in a room where someone with measles coughed or sneezed.  People usually 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.

Potentially exposed are anyone who visited the Mineola Long Island Rail Road station or New York Penn Station between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. or 11:15 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. Sept. 11, 10:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 12, rode the MTA shuttle from Mineola to Hempstead between 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., or visited Noches de Columbia Restaurant on Jericho Turnpike in Mineola, between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on that date.

Potential exposure also extends to those at the Hempstead or Jamaica LIRR station between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., between Jamaica and Penn Station between 3:50 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., between Penn Station and Hempstead between 10 p.m. and 2:30 a.m., or rode the MTA shuttle from Hempstead to Mineola between 12:15 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. on that date.

These times reflect the period that the infected individual was in the identified areas and a two-hour period after they left those areas, because the virus remains alive in air and on surfaces for up to two hours, officials said. To prevent the spread of illness, NCDOH 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. 

Those at highest risk include people who are pregnant, under 6 months old, have compromised immune systems, aren’t vaccinated against measles, or were born before 1957. 

“We have a solemn obligation to protect the health and safety of all 1.4 million people who call Nassau County home – especially the thousands of vulnerable people in our communities who cannot receive vaccinations due to health conditions or young age,” Curran said. “We will continue to emphasize that the single best way to protect our children and the entire community from serious diseases is through recommended vaccinations. The science remains clear: vaccines are safe, effective, and life-saving.”