STAMFORD, CT - From January 1 to April 19, 2019, 626 individual cases of measles have been confirmed nationwide and reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, there are measles outbreaks in California, Butte County; Michigan, New Jersey, New York City, New York State, Rockland County, and Washington. These outbreaks have been linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries.
Measles symptoms frequently present in adults and children about seven to 14 days after a person is infected and typically begin with high fever, cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth. Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out that usually begins as flat red spots appearing on the face at the hairline and spreading downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots and the spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body.
Complications from measles may include diarrhea, ear infection, pneumonia, liver inflammation, brain inflammation, miscarriage and premature birth in pregnancy, and death. Long-term complications include a very rare, but fatal disease affecting the nervous system.
Given the ongoing measles outbreak in surrounding communities, the City of Stamford’s Department of Health is advising everyone that this is a good time to make sure both you and your family members are up-to-date on your measles vaccination.
· See your healthcare provider to make sure that you and your family are up-to-date with your measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR), the most effective way to prevent measles and its complications.
· All healthcare staff should have documented measles immunity.
· Healthcare providers should administer an early, extra dose of MMR to infants ages 6 to 11 months who regularly spend time in areas outside of Stamford that are experiencing measles activity.
· Healthcare providers should ask about travel plans and vaccinate infants aged 6 to 11 months and all unvaccinated children and adults ages 12 months and older with MMR prior to international travel if vaccination history or immune status is unknown.
Free vaccinations are available at the City of Stamford’s Department of Health’s Henry Street Clinic for all children under 18 years of age and for all persons who are enrolled in college regardless of age. Please call 203-977-5385 to find out more.