Measles at the Palisades Mall: County Health Department

If you were at the Palisades Mall on Super Bowl Sunday you may have been exposed to the highly contagious measles virus.

Anyone at the Palisades Mall between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Feb. 2 may have been exposed to measles, Rockland County health officials warn. 

It's the sixth case of measles reported in the United States since 2014 began, health officials said.

Measles is a highly contagious, even deadly disease. According to the New York state Department of Health, "As a result of widespread immunization, the measles virus does not circulate in the United States. All reported cases of measles in the United States have been brought in from other countries, usually Europe and Asia."

The Palisades Mall was visited Feb. 2 by a child who had caught measles traveling abroad, Rockland health officials said at a media session Friday night, according to the Rockland Times. 

Here is the full text of the Rockland County Health Department's statement on the measles case:

Pomona, NY – The Rockland County Department of Health has identified a case of measles in Rockland County. Residents may have been exposed to an individual with measles if they were at the Palisades Center Mall on the afternoon of Sunday, February 2nd between 11:00 AM. and 1:00 PM.

Specific locations where residents may have been exposed are primarily on the first floor of the mall and specifically at these stores: Best Buy and the AT&T store.  

Individuals who may have been at these locations between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM and are part of the high - risk group below may have been potentially exposed to measles.  

If you were present in these stores at that time and are in any of the following high - risk groups, contact your doctor by phone right away: 
• pregnant 
• a child under 6 months of age 
• immunocompromised or immunosuppressed ( when your body can’t fight disease) 
• Or if you have not been vaccinated against the measles  

Pregnant women or individuals who are not immunized against measles should look for symptoms, call their doctor, and avoid contact with others.  

Individuals are not at risk of contracting measles if they are immune. A person is considered immune if he or she has received two doses of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine OR if born before January 1, 1957 OR has a history of laboratory-confirmed measles, OR has a blood test confirming measles immunity.  

In the interest of preventing the spread of this highly communicable disease, the Rockland County Department of Health also asks individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles (fever & rash) to call their physician, health care provider or emergency room BEFORE going for care so that others are not exposed in a waiting room.  

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus and is spread by contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people. Measles can lead to serious side effects and, in rare cases, death. Measles symptoms usually appear in 10 to 12 days, but can occur as late as 18 days after exposure. 

Symptoms generally appear in two stages.   

In the first stage, which lasts two to four days, the individual may have a runny nose, cough and a slight fever. Eyes may become reddened and sensitive to light while the fever gradually rises each day, often peaking as high as 103° to 105° F. Small bluish white spots surrounded by a reddish area may also appear on the gums and inside of the cheeks. 

The second stage begins on the third to seventh day and consists of a red blotchy rash lasting five to six days. The rash usually begins on the face and then spreads downward and outward, reaching the hands and feet. The rash fades in the same order that it appeared, from head to extremities.

Although measles is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age. 

The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Most New Yorkers have been vaccinated, but if unsure, they should check with their physician. Individuals should receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine to be protected.

The first dose should be given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose is routinely given at 4 to 6 years of age, but may be given as soon as 28 days after the first dose.

Anyone at any age who is not immune to measles, and has no condition that would prohibit receiving the vaccine, should receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine at least 28 days apart. 

The Health Department is asking all health providers to immediately report all cases of suspect measles to the Rockland County Health Department Bureau of Communicable Disease Control by calling (845) 364-2997 during normal business hours, or 845 - 364 - 8600 after hours/weekend. Health Care Providers can call this number for additional information.

Your provider may do additional testing to confirm the diagnosis.  It is also important to note that travelers should be up-to-date on their vaccinations; since January 2014 there have been 6 cases of measles reported in the United States from travelers to foreign countries. 

More information about measles can be found at: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/measles/fact_sheet.htm
Heidi Vandiver February 09, 2014 at 08:10 AM
Pretty sure Mary was not speaking of the Jewish community at large. She was speaking of the Hasidic Community who, based on the yearly mumps outbreaks, seems not to vaccinate. I think we as a community really need to be able to open a dialogue about this radical religious group and have it be known that it has nothing to do with any Jews not associated with the Hasidim group. I think Rockland really needs to focus on the issue of having a group who is acting only for the benefit of themselves. It has nothing to do with the Jewish religion.
philip biagioli February 09, 2014 at 01:18 PM
Tony T February 09, 2014 at 03:03 PM
Should not the community in general be given as much info as possible....... an ID of the suspected, if know, and it seems from the article they are. Others may have come in contact .with them in other venues than the Mall, If I was the Palisades Mall I would insist on it. I for one will not patronize the Mall until this crisis is resolved.
Slainte February 09, 2014 at 11:56 PM
Not vaccinated and at the mall Super Bowl Sunday. Hmmmmm this seems like a real brain buster to figure out.
Patricia February 15, 2014 at 02:30 PM
I read the article, did I miss something about the person visiting Israel or being Jewish? I didn't read that anywhere. And why are people looking to lash out at a specific group over this article?


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