NEW YORK — New York State Department of Health officials are warning the public about a possible measles exposure after a tourist from Australia was confirmed to have the infection while visiting parts of New York this month.
The tourist visited hotels in Manhattan and Brooklyn, was part of an Oasis Bible Tour group at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, and visited the Watchtower Educational Center in Putnam County, an Orange County hotel, an Urgent Care Center in Orange County, and Orange Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department between February 16 – 21, 2018, potentially exposing others to measles.
The risk of developing measles is very low, especially for people who have been immunized.
Anyone who visited the following locations may have been exposed:
• La Quinta Inn, 31 W. 71st Street, New York, NY, between February 16 and the morning of February 19, 2018.
• Oasis Bible Tours at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave., New York, NY, the morning of February 16, and the evening of February 17, 2018.
• Watchtower Educational Center, 100 Watchtower Drive, Patterson, NY, between 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. on February 19, 2018.
• Best Western Hotel, 1324 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, from February 19 until 12:00 p.m. on February 20, 2018.
• Comfort Inn & Suites Goshen – Middletown, 20 Hatfield Lane, Goshen, NY, from 4:30 p.m. on February 20 until 10:30 a.m. on February 21, 2018.
• Excel Urgent Care, 1 Hatfield Lane, Goshen, NY, between 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on February 21, 2018.
• Orange Regional Medical Center, Emergency Department, 707 E. Main Street, Middletown, NY, between 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on February 21, 2018.
These times reflect the period that the infected individual was in these areas and a two-hour period after the individual left the area, as the virus remains alive in air and on surfaces for up to two hours. This explains the overlap in times.
Those individuals lacking immunity or who are not sure if they have been vaccinated, should contact their health care provider if they develop measles symptoms.
Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear in 10-12 days after exposure. Individuals who may have been exposed and who lack immunity could begin experiencing symptoms at this time.
To prevent the spread of illness, the 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 the rash.
The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals should receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be protected. If a person is unsure if they are immune they should contact their healthcare provider. Typically, the first dose should be given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose should be given at four to six years of age (age of school entry), although individuals may also be vaccinated later in life.
In New York State, measles immunization is required of children enrolled in schools, daycare, and pre-kindergarten. Since August 1990, college students have also been required to demonstrate immunity against measles.
The state Department of Health will issue a health advisory to health care providers in the metropolitan New York City region to notify them of the potential exposure. Health care providers should report all suspected cases of measles to their local health department.
More information about measles can be found at https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170.pdf