Measles Outbreak Updates

measles outbreak nycMeasles is a highly contagious virus that causes a red spotted rash to spread all over the body, along with high fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat. The virus can be very dangerous and potentially fatal for infants and children.

Recently, there has been an outbreak in the New York City area, and in an effort to contain the spread of the virus health officials are urging communities to keep up with the latest information and comply with recommendations.

To help educate our community, Jamaica Hospital is sharing the following information:

How has the measles outbreak affected NYC communities?

  • Close to 600 cases of measles have been reported in NYC since the fall of 2018, majority of which are from Brooklyn (Williamsburg, Borough Park, Crown Heights, and more recently Sunset Park); although most cases have been linked to unvaccinated travelers within Orthodox Jewish communities, the disease has also affected non-Orthodox Jewish residents in other boroughs including Queens.

How is the virus spreading?

  • Measles spreads when people breathe in or have direct contact with fluid that contains the virus. For example, it can pass through droplets sprayed into the air when someone with measles coughs or sneezes.
  • Measles can spread to others from four days before a rash appears through the fourth day after the rash disappears.
  • The best way to stop the spread of the virus is through the measles (MMR) vaccination.

How safe and effective is the MMR vaccine?

  • The MMR vaccine is very effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.
  • Despite many claims that autism is linked to the MMR vaccine, multiple studies have scientifically proven that the measles vaccine is safe and not linked to autism.

Who gets the MMR vaccine?

  • All children should receive vaccination. The CDC recommends “children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.”
  • Infants aged 6 to 11 months traveling abroad to high-risk areas should receive an early dose of MMR ( This dose would be in addition to the regular schedule of MMR vaccinations)
  • Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.
  • Adults with no evidence of immunity (Individuals who may not have previously received vaccination, have no laboratory or written evidence of immunity)
  • Adults with no evidence of immunity and are at a higher risk for contracting measles. This group includes healthcare workers, international travelers, college students or those exposed to people with measles in the outbreak areas. (Adults who are at a high risk of transmission should receive two doses, 28 days apart).

Amelia MacIntyre DO- Family Medicine

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.