LAKEWOOD — Five police officers stayed home on Tuesday after learning that a suspect they arrested and booked may have the highly contagious measles.

Chief Gregory Meyer told New Jersey 101.5 that the Ocean County Jail notified him about the inmate. As a result, all officers involved with the arrest, transport and booking were sent to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus for screening.

The officers were then sent home for 48 hours before returning to the hospital for another screening, Meyer said.

"At this time, the decision to have the affected officers stay home is precautionary only and they are all expected to return to work Wednesday," Capt. Gregory Staffordsmith said.

Meyer said all areas of the buildings and vehicles used in the arrest and transport have been "properly disinfected."

The Lakewood Scoop was the first to report the possible exposure.

Lakewood was the center of two separate outbreaks between the fall of 2018 and spring 2019.

The first outbreak between October 2018 and January 2019 had 30 confirmed cases in Ocean County with an additional three cases in a single Passaic County household directly tied to the "outbreak community," according to the state Department of Health.

A second outbreak had 19 confirmed cases from March to May 16.

New York outbreaks in Rockland County, Brooklyn and Queens were declared to be over by their respective health departments last year.

Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Measles can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). In pregnant women, measles can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low infant birth weight.

According to the CDC, 1,282 individual cases of measles were confirmed in 31 states in 2019. As of Jan. 31, there have been five confirmed cases of measles in five states.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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