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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2019
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

MEASLES OUTBREAK CONTINUES

Health Department notifying residents of possible measles exposures
in Monsey on March 20 and March 24

NEW CITY, NY - - With the continued measles outbreak in Rockland, County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents of the importance of getting vaccinated. Due to Rockland County's small geographic size, exposure to the measles may occur anywhere in Rockland. As of March 29, there are 157 confirmed reported cases of measles in the county.

Measles is one of the most contagious viruses on earth; 90% of unvaccinated people exposed to the virus become infected. You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to 2 hours after that person is gone. You can catch measles from an infected person even before they have a measles rash.

Anyone who visited the following locations or used the following taxis at these times may have been exposed to measles:

  • Uber that initially traveled to Monsey Hub shopping plaza in Monsey, NY on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 1:20pm to 1:30pm with a risk of exposure until 3:30pm.
  • Nyack Taxi that initially traveled from Monsey Hub shopping plaza in Monsey, NY 10952 on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 2:20pm to 3:00pm with a risk of exposure until 5:00pm.
  • Rockland Kosher Supermarket, located at 27 Orchard St, Monsey, NY 10952 on Sunday, March 24, 2019 from 1:00pm until 5:00pm.
  • La Familia Taxi that initially traveled from Rockland Kosher Supermarket, located at 27 Orchard St, Monsey, NY 10952 on Sunday March 24, 2019 between 3:00pm to 3:05pm with a risk of exposure until 5:05 pm.

These times reflect the period that the infected individuals were in these areas and a two-hour period after they left the areas, because the virus remains in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours. If you were present at these locations during these times, especially if you are in any of the following high-risk groups, contact your health care provider by phone right away (call before going for care):

  • Pregnant
  • A child under 6 months of age
  • Immunocompromised or immunosuppressed (when your body can't fight disease)
  • Have not been vaccinated against the measles
  • Were born before 1957 and are immunosuppressed

"High community vaccination rates help protect people who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions. The best way to help protect yourself and the community is to remain up-to-date with your measles vaccination," said Dr. Ruppert.

Free MMR vaccines are available by calling:

  • The Rockland County Department of Health at 845-364-2497 or 845-364-2520 to schedule an appointment to get a free MMR vaccine at the Pomona health complex.
  • The Rockland County Department of Health Spring Valley Family Planning Clinic is also providing MMR vaccines, by appointment to Family Planning patients. Family Planning Clinic patients can call 845-364-2531 to schedule an appointment.

In addition, MMR vaccines are available at local health care providers or by calling a local federally qualified health center, such as Refuah or Hudson River Health Care. The federally qualified health centers see patients on a sliding fee scale and by appointment. They may require patients new to their centers to have a well visit first, before a vaccine can be given. Visit www.nachc.org/about/about-our-health-centers/find-a-health-center/ to find the locations of federally qualified health centers in Rockland.

The Health Department is actively working to contain the further spread of measles. As a result, if you are ill with a fever, rash, or conjunctivitis (red watery eyes) – help protect our community by staying home, not having visitors, and not going out in public. To further prevent the spread of illness, the Department is advising individuals 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.

The Health Department is asking all health care providers to immediately report all cases of suspect measles to the Rockland County Department of Health Communicable Disease Program staff by calling (845) 364-2997 during normal business hours, or (845) 364-8600 after hours/weekends. Health Care Providers can also call this number for additional information.

Residents can get more information about measles by visiting https://bit.ly/2zh4v1G and by calling the New York State Department of Health toll free Measles Information Line at (888) 364-4837. For more information about the County of Rockland's State of Emergency visit www.rocklandgov.com.