WAYNE — The New Jersey Department of Health has confirmed a travel-related case of measles in Passaic County.

According to the department, the disease was found in an unvaccinated 7-month-old who had come to the state through international travel, and who may have exposed others between Jan. 17 and 23, including at two local hospitals.

The child visited the emergency department of St. Joseph's Wayne Hospital from just before 7 a.m until 1 p.m. on Jan. 21, according to the health department. The child as at the Pediatric Emergency Department at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center two days later from 6:30 a.m. until 3:45 p.m.

While it has been more than a week since the child was at either hospital, and is currently recovering at home, the health department warned that symptoms may not develop until as late as Feb. 15.

Also, according to the health department, this case of travel-related measles is not connected to a man from Hudson County who also contracted the disease traveling abroad.

St. Joseph's Hospital is contacting people who may have been exposed and the Department of Health is working with local officials to help in the identification and notification processes.

Officials said anyone who thinks they may have been exposed should first contact a healthcare provider who can then help make special arrangements for evaluation. Symptoms of the disease can include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.

The health department said the disease has been known to cause pneumonia and encephalitis, and can also affect pregnant women causing miscarriages, premature birth, or low birth weight.

Measles can be spread when people come in contact with the mucus or saliva of an infected person, and anyone who has not received either a measles vaccine or the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is at risk of contracting it.

Assistant Commissioner Christina Tan said the MMR vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all children between the ages of 12 and 15 months, with a second shot between the ages of 4 and 6 years old.

"However, the CDC recommends that all people 6 months of age and older who will be traveling internationally be protected against the measles," she said.

Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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