The city’s ongoing measles outbreak has spread from Brooklyn into other boroughs, with cases now confirmed in Manhattan and Staten Island, the city’s Health Department announced Wednesday.
Since October, the city has seen 550 confirmed cases of the virus, with the majority being documented in Williamsburg, according to the Health Department. The agency, however, said they now have confirmation of one case in Manhattan and seven cases in Staten Island.
Of these cases identified citywide, seven are Staten Island residents and another lives in Manhattan. Six of the Staten Island cases date back to March with an exposure in Rockland County, New York where there is ongoing measles activity. These cases were only reported recently by a health care provider because these individuals came to care after their illnesses resolved. The one remaining case in Staten Island is linked to Sunset Park, Brooklyn where there is ongoing measles activity. In addition, a Manhattan resident has been diagnosed with measles, which is also due to an exposure in Sunset Park. There are no known transmissions linked to these eight cases.
The majority of cases (77%) have occurred in the Williamsburg neighborhood (ZIP codes 11205, 11206, 11211, 11249), which has been under an Emergency Order since April 9, requiring people who reside or work in these ZIP codes to be vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. There have been 42 measles-related hospitalizations and 12 admissions to intensive care units due to measles complications since the beginning of the outbreak in October.
“The recently identified cases are linked to exposures in neighborhoods with known measles activity,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “These cases prove the urgent need to get vaccinated, especially if you spend time in areas that are experiencing an outbreak. This message cannot be overstated — if you live, work or attend school in these sections of the city, get vaccinated if you are able. We thank the thousands of people throughout the city who have gotten vaccinated. Each one of you has taken a critical step to protect your family, your neighbors and yourselves.”
The six of the individuals from Staten Island were exposed in Rockland County.. Exposures have been identified in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and, as of May 28, 2019, there have been 12 confirmed cases in the neighborhood. Last week, the Health Department added Sunset Park to the list of areas in NYC with measles activity that have expanded vaccination recommendations for people who live, work, or spend time in this area of the City.
Recommendations include two doses of MMR for adults without documentation of vaccination, an extra, early dose of MMR for infants ages 6 to 11 months and an early dose of MMR for children ages 1 to 4 years following the routine dose at 12 months of age, as long as 28 days have passed since the last dose. The Health Department continues enhanced city-wide surveillance for measles to identify and address any measles transmission.
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