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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 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 IS NOT OVER

The Rockland County Department of Health asks residents to help protect themselves
and our community from measles

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents that the measles outbreak still continues in Rockland. As of March 21, there are 151 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.

The measles outbreak in Rockland is not limited to one community, however it is affecting residents of Spring Valley, New Square, and Monsey. Due to Rockland County's small geographic size, exposure to the measles may occur anywhere in Rockland. People may shop, dine, and run errands around the county before they realize they are ill, but are contagious.

Anyone who visited the following locations in Spring Valley and Monsey may have been exposed to measles:

  • Target in Spring Valley Marketplace, 50 Spring Valley Market Place, Spring Valley, NY 10977, between Sunday 3/10/19 at 8:00 am and Monday 3/11/19 at 1:00 am, and between Monday 3/11/19 at 8:00 am and Tuesday 3/12/19 at 2:00 am. (The RCDOH has been unable to narrow the time of possible exposure at the Target in Spring Valley Marketplace despite multiple attempts to reach the infected individual).
  • All Fresh Supermarket, 19 Route 59, Monsey, NY 10952 on Tuesday, 3/12/19 between 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
  • Atrium Plaza, 401 Route 59, Monsey, NY 10952, on Tuesday, 3/12/19 between 2:30 pm – 5:45 pm
  • Designer's Spot, 401 Route 59, Monsey, NY 10952, on Tuesday, 3/12/19 between 2:30 pm - 5:45 pm
  • TOR Bus – Loop 2 Eastbound that traveled on Tuesday, 3/12/19 between 3:55 pm and 6:06 pm from the Atrium Plaza in Monsey, NY
  • International Taxi that drove from near 5 Twin Avenue in Spring Valley, NY to near the intersection of Sunrise Drive and Monsey Blvd. in Monsey, NY on Wednesday, 3/13/2019 between 3:15 pm and 5:30 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 alive in 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

The best way to help protect yourself and the community is to remain up-to-date with your measles vaccination. High community vaccination rates help protect people who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions. "We continue to encourage everyone to be up-to-date with the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine to help protect them in case of any future exposure to measles in Rockland. Measles is highly contagious, so anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting the disease, and they may spread measles to people who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions," 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.

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. The Rockland County Department of Health is closely coordinating our response with the New York State Department of Health to ensure the health and safety of all residents.

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.

 

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