NJ Residents Face New Measles Threat [AUDIO]
The New Jersey Health Department has declared a state-wide public health alert after identifying a third Garden State resident who is believed to have come down with measles and who possibly exposed hundreds to the illness.
Earlier this month, the individual traveled throughout Somerville, Bridgewater and Hillsborough.
"Potentially many people might have been exposed to the measles virus because the measles virus can spread very easily through the air," Dr. Tina Tan, state epidemiologist said.
She points out this is a cause for concern.
Contact Doctor Immediately If Possibly Exposed
"Measles can cause some potentially severe problems in 20 percent of patients who are infected, and some of those complications can include pneumonia, can include encephalitis, which is swelling of the brain, can also result in hospitalizations and even death."
Symptoms of measles can range from a rash, high fever, runny nose and cough to watery red eyes.
If you suspect you may have been exposed, Dr. Tan recommends you contact your doctor or a health care provider immediately - by phone so that the physician's office or the emergency department can take precautions to prevent additional spread.
The New Jersey Health Department has issued a statement.
"We urge everyone to check to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations. Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it protects others around you who are too young to get the vaccine or can't receive it for medical reasons. Two doses of measles vaccine is more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles."
The DOH is recommending that anyone who visited the following locations during the dates/times listed below, contact a health provider immediately to discuss potential exposure and risk of developing the illness:
Somerset Medical Center, 110 Rehill Ave, Somerville, NJ 08876
- March 4, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m
- March 5, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m
- March 6, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m
- March 7, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m
- March 8, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m
- March 11, between 8:45 a.m. and 2 p.m
Steeplechase Cancer Center, 30 Rehill Ave, Somerville, NJ 08876:
- March 6, between 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m
- March 8, between 12 p.m. and 5:30 p.m
- March 11, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m
Somerset County Human Services Building, 27 Warren St, Somerville, NJ 08876
- March 6, between 9:15 a.m. and 2 p.m
- March 7, between 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m
- March 11, between 10:30 and 4 p.m
Somerset County Administration Building, 20 Grove St, Somerville, NJ 08876
- March 7, between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m
Carlo's Pizza & Pasta, 572 Union Ave, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
- March 8, between 4:00p.m.and 6:45 p.m
T.G.I.Friday's, 395 U.S. 202, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
- March 9, between 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m
Barnes & Noble Booksellers Somerville, 319 Rte 202/206, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
- March 9, between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m
Bloomingdale's at Bridgewater Mall, 410 Commons Way, Bridgewater, NJ
- March 10, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m
Adam & Eve Hairstylists, 626 U.S. 206, Hillsborough, NJ 08844
- March 12, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m
For more information about measles, a call center will open today to answer provider and public questions at 1-866-341 9788. The call center hours are:
- 9 a.m. -7 p.m. Friday
- 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday
- 9 a.m. -5 p.m. Sunday
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website has additional information available.