LAKEWOOD — The number of measles cases related to Lakewood has climbed to 18, with another 16 possible occurrences under investigation, according to an update from the Ocean County Health Department.

According to the New Jersey Department of Health the three newest cases developed when a person who had already been confirmed with measles in Lakewood visited family in Passaic while infectious. The three newest cases are from the same household.

The cases all stem from a 27-year-old Lakewood man who had traveled to Israel and was confirmed to have the measles at the end of October.

People can become ill from measles from five to 21 days after being exposed to the virus.

The literal rash of Lakewood cases is one of several outbreaks in the New York area, including Brooklyn and Rockland County. The NYC Health Department reported 29 confirmed cases in Brooklyn since October, while 80 cases were confirmed in Rockland County by its county health department.

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 infant birth weight.

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