86 at risk of measles exposure after party
TOMS RIVER — 86 people were potentially exposed to measles at a private, invitation-only event, according to health officials.
Ocean County's measles outbreak had stabilized at 18, with six potential cases under investigation. Three of those cases were in Passaic County after a person with a confirmed case visited with a family. The other cases have all been in Lakewood.
The Ocean County Health Department was notified on Friday about the event, according to public health coordinator Dan Regenye, who did not disclose the nature of the event or where it was held. The OCHD has attempted to contact the individuals involved.
The state Department of Heath said the event was in New York where the majority of attendees were from Lakewood.
"While it is understandable that many would like to file this outbreak into the history books, we must continue to be vigilant and to take all necessary precautions to avoid an escalation of this measles outbreak," Regenye said in a release.
People can become ill from measles from five to 21 days after being exposed to the virus.
Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Measles can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). In pregnant women, measles can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, or a low infant birth weight.
Regenye said that those who believe they have may have been exposed to call their medical provider to arrange for an exam, and to not just show up at their office to minimize the chance of exposing others.
The literal rash of Lakewood cases is one of several outbreaks in the New York area, including Brooklyn and Rockland County. The NYC Health Department reported 39 confirmed cases in Brooklyn since October, while 89 cases were confirmed in Rockland County by its county health department.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ