Protecting Your Family: Strategies Against Measles Outbreak in Nassau

Health officials in New York are on high alert after reporting a case of measles in an unvaccinated child from Nassau County under the age of 5, marking the third case of the highly contagious virus in the state in 2024.

The child had not traveled outside the United States, raising concerns about potential exposure to measles for those at Cohen Children’s Medical Center Emergency Department in Glen Oaks, Queens. Measles is known to spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, with individuals able to spread the virus even before showing symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children receive two doses of the MMR vaccine at specific ages to protect against measles, a virus that can lead to complications, especially in young children, older adults, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems.

Despite the fact that measles was eliminated in the US in 2000, cases can still be brought in by unvaccinated travelers. While a high percentage of children in Nassau and Suffolk counties have received their first dose of the MMR vaccine by age 2, there are individuals who are seeking to avoid vaccine requirements through illegal means.

In fact, health authorities are currently investigating cases on Long Island involving fake student immunization records and false COVID-19 vaccine cards. These incidents highlight the importance of vaccinations in preventing the spread of infectious diseases and protecting public health. Symptoms of measles include high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a rash, making early detection crucial in containing outbreaks.

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