Measles in NY: Tips on preventing the virus from spreading locally

With a measles outbreak downstate, locals are wondering what precautions are being done here.

Posted: Apr. 12, 2019 5:27 PM
Updated: Apr. 12, 2019 5:28 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- Right now there is a measles outbreak in downstate New York and that leaves a couple people wondering locally about the precautions that we are taking in our area.

"Just general education making sure people are aware of what measles is, making sure they are vaccinated or not. Just basic education to get people aware," said Matthew Blando, a physician for Mohawk Valley Health Services.

Measles is a contagious virus that usually starts out as a fever with a runny nose, sore throat and red eyes, but 3-5 days later a rash appears. Health officials told us what would happen if there was a case of measles in our area.

"The doctor's office or hospital would be calling the Health Department right away and the Health Department would advise on the testing recommendations for the person who is sick and then control measures to help prevent the spread of the disease in our community. All the control measures that we would recommend would just vary based on the case's age, whether they are vaccinated or not, and what kind of setting they were tested in," said Public Health Nurse Rebecca LaPorte.

Doctors say you'll want to get the vaccine in order to protect yourself.

Dr. Blando says, "The reason we want people to be vaccinated and we watch out for the measles is because it can have some pretty serious consequences if you get the actual infection. About 1 in 20 people who get the measles will end up getting a pneumonia from it This can be both a viral pneumonia from the measles itself or the measles can weaken the immune system enough that bacterial pneumonia can grow on top of that and these pneumonia's is the leading cause of death especially in children for the measles."

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