Alert: Measles Outbreaks in New York City and Long Island
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is advising residents to make sure they have had measles shots before traveling abroad. This advisory is in response to several cases of measles that have appeared in New York City and Long Island that have been tied to international travel. The Health Department is urging residents traveling abroad - particularly to Europe and Israel - to be sure they are vaccinated against measles. Currently, there are large measles outbreaks in Israel and Switzerland, and outbreaks have occurred in other European countries, including the United Kingdom and Belgium.
If your patient is traveling overseas and has not been vaccinated, they need to get a measles shot. Because of the ongoing outbreaks, children between the ages of six months and 12 months should be vaccinated if they are traveling. Remember, older children and adults need two doses of measles vaccine to be fully protected.
As a reminder, all health care practitioners must report any suspected cases of measles IMMEDIATELY to their local Health Departments as per the New York State Communicable Disease Reporting Requirements. A blood test to confirm your diagnosis should be obtained. You may review the following CDC and Health Department Health Advisories regarding the recent measles exposures at the web sites listed below or contact the Health Departments directly at the following numbers:
- New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2008/pr024-08.shtml or call 212-676-2259
- Nassau County Department of Health: http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Health/NewsRelease/2008/04-07-2008a.html or call 516-227-9496
Communicable disease reporting requirements are posted on HIP's web site at https://www.hipusa.com/providers/ny/communicable_reporting.asp