Measles confirmed in 1-year-old in Jersey City: officials

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (PIX11) -- New Jersey health officials have confirmed that a 1-year-old baby in Jersey City is infected with the measles virus.

Officials have not yet identified a link between the Jersey City case and the ongoing outbreak associated with Disneyland in California.

The child is now doing fine, but the New Jersey Department of Health has notified residents that live in the same apartment building.

"It's airborne and can stay on surfaces for hours," warns Dr. Julia Piwoz, Chief of Pediatric and Infectious Diseases with the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's at Hackensack University Medical Center.

"They absolutely need to take this seriously, it's very contagious," she added.

State health officials say if anyone else has contracted the disease from the child, they should be symptomatic Friday or by Saturday at the latest.

Dr. Piwoz says that anyone vaccinated properly as a child, should be safe from the measles. But she says if you're unsure or concerned, it can't hurt to get vaccinated again, unless you have other medical issues preventing you from getting the vaccine. Today, the measles, mumps and rubella are vaccinated together. The shot is also known as the MMR vaccine.

Prior to this potential case in New Jersey, there have been 102 cases of measles diagnosed in 14 states in 2015. Experts say that puts us on pace to beat out last year's total, 600 cases of the measles in 2014.

Many cases in 2015 have been linked to an outbreak at Disneyland in California. A cluster of cases were also confirmed at a daycare in Illinois. The 1-year-old being tested in Jersey City did not go to daycare. The child was not vaccinated. Doctors say typically babies don't get the vaccine until 12-15 months old. Dr. Piwoz is urging residents to get vaccinated and says previous misconceptions about the measles vaccine, the biggest being a purported link to Autism, have largely been disproved.

"If you come in contact and you are unvaccinated you have a 90% chance of getting it," she said.

A telltale sign of the measles is a full-body rash. But typically it is also the last symptom that develops. First, is a fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. The disease is airborne. It's transmitted from person-to-person through coughing and sneezing.