IMPORTANT MEASLES INFORMATION
Some areas of New York State are currently experiencing a measles outbreak, including the lower Hudson Valley and parts of New York City.
Measles spreads easily and can be dangerous to anyone who is not vaccinated. If you have questions about measles or the measles vaccine, call the New York State Measles Hotline at 888-364-4837
As of April 22, 2019, there are 231 confirmed cases of measles in New York State outside of New York City (199 in Rockland County, 20 in Orange County, 10 in Westchester County and 2 in Sullivan County.)
Evaluating Reliable Vaccine Resources
You can't trust everything you read, and it's important to apply that rule of thumb whenever you hear or read about immunizations or vaccine safety.
The explosion of social media enables people to find out what strangers, celebrities and lay people have to say, and it's sometimes hard to distinguish fact from opinion. For information about how to evaluate resources visit: Evaluating Reliable Vaccine Resources.
What is measles?
Measles is a serious respiratory disease that causes a rash and fever. It is very contagious. You can catch it just by being in a room where someone with measles coughed or sneezed.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms usually appear 7-14 days after exposure but can take as long as 21 days. The first symptoms are usually:
- High fever
- Runny nose
- Red watery eyes
- Small red spots, some of which are slightly raised.
- Spots and bumps in tight clusters give the skin a splotchy red appearance.
- Usually appears 2 to 4 days after the fever begins and lasts 5 to 6 days.
- Begins at the hairline, moves to the face and neck, down the body and then to the arms and legs.
What are the complications of measles?
A small number of people who get measles will need to be hospitalized and could die. Many people with measles have complications such as diarrhea, ear infections or pneumonia. They can also get a brain infection that can lead to permanent brain damage. Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of early labor, miscarriage and low birth weight infants. Measles can be more severe in people with weak immune systems.
How long is a person with measles contagious?
A person with measles can pass it to others from 4 days before a rash appears through the 4th day after the rash appears.
Is there a treatment for measles?
There is no treatment but acetaminophen and ibuprofen may be taken to reduce a fever. People with measles also need bed rest and fluids. They also may need treatment for complications such as diarrhea, an ear infection or pneumonia.
If my child or another family member has been exposed to measles, what should I do?
Immediately call your local health department, doctor or clinic for advice. Never been vaccinated? Get the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine within 3 days of being exposed. This may prevent you from getting measles. Some people may need an immune globulin shot -- antibodies to the measles virus. It should be given within 6 days of being exposed. This may prevent or lessen the severity of measles.
What is the best way to prevent measles?
Getting the measles vaccine is the best way to prevent measles.
- You are considered immune to measles if you have written proof of 2 valid doses of MMR vaccine, or other live, measles-containing vaccine.
- You are also considered immune to measles if you have a written lab report of immunity, or you were born before 1957.
- Anyone who lacks proof of measles immunity, as defined above, should receive at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Two doses of MMR vaccine are recommended for some groups of adults. This includes health care personnel, college students, and international travelers. The doses should be given at least 28 days apart.
We recommend that all children get the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine.
- Children should get their first MMR shot at 12 through 15 months old (as soon as possible within this time period). The second dose may be given as soon as one month after the first dose. But it is usually given between 4 and 6 years of age.
- An early dose of MMR vaccine is recommended for children 6-11 months of age who will be traveling internationally. These children will still need the 2 routine doses given at 12-15 months and 4-6 years of age to ensure protection. They will receive a total of 3 MMR vaccines.
What are the MMR vaccine requirements for school attendance?
- For pre-kindergarten including day care, Head Start or nursery school: one dose of MMR vaccine
- Kindergarten to grade 12: two doses of MMR vaccine
- College: two doses of MMR vaccine
What should I do if I'm not sure I was vaccinated against measles?
Check with your health care provider. If you were born before 1957 it's likely that you have been exposed to the virus and are immune. Ask your doctor if you've been properly vaccinated.
What should I or my family members do to prevent measles if we are traveling out of the country?
Measles is still common in many other countries. Make sure that you and your children are fully vaccinated before traveling out of the U.S.
- Children, adults, and adolescents should have two doses of MMR vaccine, at least 28 days apart.
- An early dose of MMR vaccine is recommended for children 6-12 months of age who will be traveling internationally. This dose does not count as part of the routine doses given at 12-15 months and 4-6 years of age. These children will need a total of 3 MMR vaccinations.
- Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Measles (PDF)
- For tips to find your vaccine records, please visit: Locating Old Immunization Records
- Measles Review for Providers - Responding to New York State’s largest outbreak since measles elimination (PDF)
- Travel and measles
- Learn more about measles
- How can I find out about measles outbreaks?
- For more information about vaccine-preventable diseases
NYSDOH MEASLES ADVISORIES AND SUMMER CAMP NOTICES (as of 04.23.19)
Preparing for a Storm
- Information for during a hurricane
- Food and water safety during power outages and floods
- In a flood, turn around, don't drown!
- Sanitation during a flood
- Generator safety
We’ve all heard the news reports about ZIKA virus, so let’s review the facts and the steps that you can take to help prevent it:
Fact 1: the ZIKA virus is transmitted by a species of mosquito that bites during the day and breeds in containers of standing water near where people live.
Fact 2: SO FAR, none of the affected or suspected mosquito species have been detected in Ulster County.
Fact 3: you can take common-sense steps to reduce the chances of mosquitos breeding, and biting, near your home by keeping your gutters clean and eliminating sources of standing water such as old tires, barrels, cans and other items and areas where small pools of water gather. Also, keep your screens in good repair - and use insect repellant as directed.
Fact 4: if you or your partner have traveled to an area where ZIKA is known to be present and you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, speak to your health care provider about getting tested.
For details, visit/call:
Centers for Disease Control - CDC ZIKA site
New York State Department of Health - NYSDOH ZIKA site
or call the NYS ZIKA Information Line at 1-888-364-4723 (you can also obtain free and non-toxic (to humans, pets and wildlife) tablets that kill mosquito larvae by calling this #)
Great Video on How to Keep Your Home and Yard Mosquito Free - Courtesy of University of California
EXPERIENCING A MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGE OR CRISIS? HELP IS ONLY A PHONE CALL AWAY - ULSTER COUNTY MOBILE MENTAL HEALTH
Mobile Mental Health is operated by ACCESS: Supports for Living. Call 1-844-277-4820. Connect with a trained counselor when stress, depression or other mental health issues create a personal crisis. Help is only a phone call away. Your call with a trained counselor will be kept confidential. This service is available to all Ulster County residents at NO CHARGE.