Measles Case Confirmed in Somerset County: NJ Health Officials Issue Travel-Related Alert

New Jersey Department of Health stresses importance of MMR vaccination following exposure scare.

The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) has issued an urgent alert regarding a confirmed case of measles in a Somerset County resident, who contracted the disease after returning from a country currently experiencing a measles outbreak. Health authorities are emphasizing the critical need for up-to-date vaccinations against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), particularly for parents, guardians, healthcare providers, and caregivers.

The infected individual visited the Emergency Department at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center in Plainsboro Township on June 1, 2024, from 12:00 PM to 3:30 PM, during which others may have been exposed. Symptoms of measles include a high fever, cough, runny nose, watery red eyes, and a distinctive rash that spreads from the face down to the rest of the body. Complications from the virus can be severe, ranging from pneumonia to encephalitis, and may adversely affect pregnant individuals.

NJDOH advises anyone present at the medical center during the exposure window to contact their healthcare provider immediately to assess their risk. Symptoms from this exposure could appear as late as June 26, 2024. Despite the ongoing contact tracing efforts, no further cases related to this incident have been reported as of June 5.

Measles is highly contagious, transmitted through airborne particles from coughs or sneezes, and can linger in the air for up to two hours. Direct contact with an infected person's mucus or saliva also poses a risk of transmission. Local health authorities, in collaboration with Penn Medicine, are working to notify potentially exposed individuals and are preparing to manage any additional cases that may arise.

Officials are urging all New Jersey residents, particularly travelers, to ensure they are vaccinated with the MMR vaccine, which is administered in two doses and is the most effective protection against measles and its associated complications.


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