NYS Health Department Warns of Measles Exposure in Chemung County

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The State Health Department announced on Friday that two people in Putnam County have developed measles resulting from exposure to two European tourists with measles who visited the area last month.

Measles can remain in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours after a person has left an area, so the times listed below reflect that window. "We encourage anyone who is unsure about the measles vaccination status, or believe they are experiencing symptoms, to contact their health-care provider or call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258)".

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. Three to five days after these symptoms appear, a rash will break out beginning with white spots inside the mouth.

"Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have had measles disease, or have a lab test confirming immunity", the Department of Health said in a statement.

The Department of Health recommends that people contact health care professionals prior to going in for care as a safety precaution. Those locations include Elmira, Niagara Falls, Dansville, and Leroy. "However, if you have been properly immunized against measles, your risk of getting the disease is minimal".

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If a person is infected with measles, the symptoms will be far less severe if the person is vaccinated.

The individual visited the JF Urgent Care Center located at 5088 N. Fresno St. on Monday from 2 p.m.to 5:30 p.m. and the emergency room at CCMC on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m.to noon. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.

"The risk of developing measles is low for people who have been vaccinated or are immune".

The best prevention measure for measles is to get vaccinated.

Health officials in Western New York are on high alert following several reports of potential measles exposure.