It’s an Outbreak: Lakewood Measles Cases Climbs to Four
LAKEWOOD — Another case of the measles has been confirmed by the Ocean County Health Department bringing the total in the township to five.
The four latest cases all stem from exposure to a 27-year-old man who had traveled to Israel and who was confirmed to have the measles late last week.
OCHD spokesman Dan Regenye said the new cases were diagnosed late Thursday and Friday morning.
County health officials warned that anyone who was in the following locations may have been exposed.
- NPGS grocery store, 231 Main St in Lakewood: Thursday, Oct. 25, between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 29, between 2:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.
- Pizza Plus, 241 4th St, Lakewood: Sunday, Oct. 28 between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
- CHEMED Health Center, 1771 Madison Ave in Lakewood Wednesday, Oct. 31 between 8:45 a.m. and 1 p.m
Regenye said that measles can survive up to two hours after being introduced to an environment by a sick person.
Anyone potentially exposed could develop symptoms as late as Nov. 20.
Regenye said anyone who believes that they may have been exposed should call their health provider and arrange for an examination away from others.
"The recommendation is to not bring them into a facility because of the highly contagious nature of measles," he said.
Measles is a highly contagious disease and those who have not been vaccinated are at especially high risk, especially young children.
"The recommendation right now is to have everyone confirm and check their vaccination status and try to assure everyone's protection. The vaccine is the best measure somebody could take at this point " Regenye said.
One health provider in Lakewood offered vaccinations in tents set up in a parking lot on Thursday.
Regenye said a threshold of three cases makes it an outbreak. He said there were no cases of measles in Ocean County last year.
Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Measles can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). In pregnant women, measles can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low birth weight.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Story was been updated to reflect that there have been three new cases since the first patient was confirmed with measles, bringing the total to four. A previous report double-counted one of the cases.