The New York City Department of Health has confirmed two new cases of measles, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 26 — 12 children and 14 adults.
The outbreak began in February, and after a mostly quiet April, officials had hoped it was successfully contained.
The new cases suggest that the outbreak may not be over. Mostly because symptoms can take up to 21 days to appear after someone’s been exposed to the virus.
“After more than two weeks since the last confirmed case, this is a reminder that we must continue to remain vigilant,” New York City Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett said in a statement.
If you’re current on your vaccinations, you’re in the clear. At least two of the infected children were purposely unvaccinated; most of the rest were too young to be fully vaccinated against measles.
Measles, which causes a fever and a rash, leads to additional health problems in about a third of people infected. Such complications can include pneumonia, miscarriage, brain infection, and even death.
While doctors can address the symptoms, there’s no treatment for the disease. That’s why it’s so important to be vaccinated.
Measles is considered “highly contagious,” usually spread by coughing or sneezing — and people are contagious even before the telltale rash shows up. “If one person has it, 90% of that person’s close contacts will also become infected,” the NYC Department of Health warns.
Last year, a measles outbreak in Brooklyn sickened at least 58 people.
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