Sullivan County keeps eye on measles

MONTICELLO – It is almost one year since the measles outbreak began in Rockland County and slowly migrated north to Orange and Sullivan counties.

To date, there are 15 confirmed cases in Sullivan and four additional epidemiology-linked cases, bringing to 19 cases so far this year.

None of the cases is currently contagious. Nevertheless, Sullivan County health care providers and public health officials continue to be vigilant at screening and monitoring for cases of measles.

Symptoms include a rash, high fever, cough and conjunctivitis.

To date, there are 414 cases of measles recorded in New York State outside New York City with 312 in Rockland County, 57 in Orange County, 18 in Westchester County, 19 in Sullivan County, six in Wyoming County, and one each in Suffolk and Greene counties.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent measures. People who have received two doses of MMR – measles, mumps and rubella – vaccine, are considered immune and persons who have a written lab report of immunity, or were born before 1957 are also considered immune.

School is starting next week and vaccine requires must be met, including one dose of MMR vaccine is required for pre-kindergarten including daycare, Head Start or nursery school; two doses of MMR are required for kindergarten to grade 12; and two doses are required for college students.

“The MMR clinics that have been held weekly from May through August at Sullivan County Public Health Services in response to the measles outbreak have concluded this week,” said Public Health Director Nancy McGraw. “Several hundred adults and children were protected with MMR vaccine this summer with these weekly clinics, and collectively, healthcare providers in Sullivan have provided over 2,000 additional MMR vaccinations to ensure broader population health protection for those without proof of immunity.”

McGraw said the “importance of full vaccination for measles, a preventable disease, cannot be stressed enough as the school year begins.”

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