To date, the Nyack Public Schools have had no cases of measles and we have a very high compliance rate with all required NYS required immunizations. Due to the Rockland County Mandate, I wanted to share some information from the county website, http://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/measles-information/, to demonstrate why the MMR vaccine is so important for your child's health.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease (in the lungs and breathing tubes) caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people (when a person infected with the measles virus breathes, coughs, or sneezes). Measles is one of the most contagious viruses on earth; one measles infected person can give the virus to 18 others. In fact, 90% of unvaccinated people exposed to the virus become infected. You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to 2 hours after that person is gone. And you can catch measles from an infected person even before they have a measles rash.
Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days after exposure. Measles typically begins with cold like symptoms (cough, runny nose, red watery eyes), but then progress to include a high fever. At that time, the following additional symptoms appear:
- Tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth.
- A rash breaks out, usually 3-5 days after onset of symptoms. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person's fever may go up to more than 104° Fahrenheit.
- After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades.
People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.
2018 - 2019 Measles Outbreak in Rockland County: As of March 29, 2019, there are 157 confirmed reported cases of measles in Rockland County.
Vaccination rates for confirmed measles cases in Rockland County:
- 82.8% have had 0 MMRs
- 3.8% have had 1 MMR
- 3.8% have had 2 MMRs
- 9.6% unknown status
Age groups for the confirmed measles cases in Rockland County
- Less than 1 year old: 14.6%
- 1-3 years: 26.8%
- 4-6 years: 15.9%
- 7-18 years: 28.0%
- 19+ years: 14.0%
The Measles Vaccine:
A safe and effective measles vaccine that can prevent suffering and death has been available for more than 50 years.
High community vaccination rates help protect people who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions. Free MMR vaccines are available by calling:
- The Rockland County Department of Health at 845-364-2497 or 845-364-2520 to schedule an appointment to get a free MMR vaccine at the Pomona health complex.
- The Rockland County Department of Health Spring Valley Family Planning Clinic is also providing MMR vaccines, by appointment to Family Planning patients. Family Planning Clinic patients can call 845-364-2531 to schedule an appointment.
Your child's healthcare provider can also provide this important vaccination.