WXXI AM News

2 Measles cases confirmed in Monroe County

Jan 26, 2019

The Monroe County Department of Public Health says that two Canal View Elementary School students in the Spencerport School District have confirmed cases of measles.

The health department is working to determine whether these individuals may have exposed other Monroe County residents.

Health officials tell WXXI News that the two students had not been vaccinated against measles.

According to a note posted on the Spencerport School District website, the county health department has told the district that the students directly impacted won't be back at school until February 14.

The district says the county health department requested the names of all non-immunized students and any staff who interacted with the classes containing these students.

Earlier this month, Monroe County reported its first case of measles since 2014, and only its second in the last decade. Officials said an unvaccinated female toddler was infected with the virus, which she likely contracted on an international trip to an area that was in the midst of a measles outbreak.

Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza says the two latest cases of measles are siblings and he says they may have had contact with the initial case of measles involving that toddler earlier in January.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people.

A person is considered immune and is unlikely to get measles if they were born before January 1, 1957, or have received two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine or have a lab test confirming immunity.

The following guidance has been sent to parents of Canal View Elementary School students:

- Confirm that your child has received 2 doses of the MMR vaccine.
- If your child has only received one dose of the MMR Vaccine, take them to get a second dose from their primary care provider as soon as possible.
- Monitor for signs and symptoms of measles (described below) until February 13th
- If your child becomes ill, they should not go to school and you should seek appropriate medical care:
- Notify the Monroe County Department of Public Health at (585) 753-5164
- Notify the school of your child’s illness
- Call their primary care provider or emergency department before seeking care to avoid exposing others to illness.

Health officials say that symptoms of measles generally appear in two stages.

In the first stage, which lasts two to four days, the individual may have a runny nose, cough and a slight fever. Eyes may become reddened and sensitive to light while the fever gradually rises each day, often peaking as high as 103° to 105° F. Small bluish white spots surrounded by a reddish area may also appear on the inside of the mouth.

The second stage begins on the third to seventh day and consists of a red blotchy rash lasting five to six days. The rash usually begins on the face and then spreads downward and outward, reaching the hands and feet. The rash fades in the same order that it appeared, from head to extremities. A person can spread measles from 4 days before the onset of rash through 4 days after the rash begins. Although measles is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age.

The health department says the  single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals are recommended to receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine to be protected. 

For more information about measles,  go to: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170/
and http://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

A recent outbreak of measles in the Pacific Northwest was discussed Friday on Connections with Evan Dawson on WXXI. You can listen to the show here.