Lakewood Measles Outbreak Continues to Grow

Boy with symptoms hand foot and mouth disease

LAKEWOOD-Two more confirmed cases of measles have been reported in Lakewood this week, raising the total number of infected to 18.

The Ocean County Health Department has issued a warning regarding exposure to the virus for residents who have not been vaccinated.   The Department said the best defense against the spread of the virus is vaccinations.    The department also highly encourages and supports the exclusion of non-vaccinated children from schools, preschools and daycare centers for the duration of the outbreak.

The Ocean County Health Department continues to support and highly encourage the exclusion of non-vaccinated children from schools, preschools and daycares in the outbreak area,” said Brian Rumpf, Director of Administration and Program Development for the Health Department. “These entities have the authority to make that decision when an outbreak has been declared by the New Jersey Department of Health. The age range so far for the current outbreak is 6 months to 27 years old.”

The outbreak began in the beginning of October and the department said since the outbreak began, it had coordinated the delivery of 12,400 doses of the vaccine to area healthcare and community providers.

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90% of people who have not been vaccinated are susceptible to the virus if exposed to another person who has contracted the disease  and the measles virus, which can be spread by coughing and contact can survive up to two hours in the air.

There are 16 additional cases being investigated and monitored by the health department.

People are reminded to check their immunization records and if there is any sign of symptoms to contact your healthcare provider prior to showing up at that provider’s office so that appropriate arrangements can be made for examination or treatment.    People can become ill from measles from 5 to 21 days after being exposed to the virus.   Measles-like symptoms include fever, rash, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite and pink eye.

Earlier this month, the virus forced the temporary closure of the Toms River motor vehicle office on Hooper Avenue.

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