New York State Department of Health Provides Updates On Nassau County Measles Case

State Health Department Continues to Work with Nassau County Health Department to Closely Monitor and Investigate the First Measles Case Outside of New York City in 2024

All New Yorkers Who Have Not Had the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Immunization Are Advised to Get Immunized

Get the Facts About Measles Here

More Information About the Measles Vaccine Can Be Found Here

ALBANY, N.Y. (MARCH 23, 2024) – The New York State Department of Health today provided updates on the first case of measles in New York State outside of New York City in 2024, the third case in the State this year. The Department is closely monitoring this case—along with Nassau County health officials—and urges all New Yorkers, especially young children, who have not had the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) immunization to get immunized as soon as possible.

This case was confirmed positive for measles last night at the State Health Department's Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany. The patient is an unvaccinated young child who lives in Nassau County. There is no indication they have traveled abroad. They have been hospitalized, and all necessary infection control procedures are currently in place, and we encourage everyone to respect the privacy of this child and their family.

"We're continuing to investigate this case history in partnership with Nassau County health officials who have also begun contact tracing. The measles cases we are seeing in New York, around the country, and around the world, are a clear indication that our immunization rates are at a dangerously low level," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "Our message is clear: if your child has not been immunized for measles with a two-dose Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine, also known as MMR, as the state's doctor I strongly urge you to do so immediately."

Measles is a serious, potentially life-threatening disease that can make people very ill, especially young children. Children with measles usually start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. This is often followed by a rash inside the child's mouth, followed a few days later by flat round spots on the face and hairline and spread down the trunk. Complications include pneumonia, encephalitis, miscarriage, preterm birth, hospitalization, and death.

Per CDC's vaccine schedule, in general all children should receive the first MMR dose by 12-15 months of age, and the second dose between 4-6 years. According to data reported to the New York State Immunization Information System, as of January 1, 2024, 80.9% of children age 2 in Nassau County and 82.1% of children age 2 in Suffolk County have received this first dose by their second birthday.

A person with measles can pass it to others as soon as four days before a rash appears over the body and as late as four days after the rash appears. Those who test positive should isolate until four days after the rash appears.

The incubation period for measles is up to 21 days. People who are exposed to measles should quarantine 21 days after exposure.

Symptoms for measles can include the following:

7-14 days, and up to 21 days after a measles infection

  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes

3-5 days after symptoms begin, a rash occurs

  • The rash usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet.
  • Small, raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots.
  • The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body.
  • When the rash appears, a person's fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit.

Those who aren't sure about their immunization status should call their local health department or health care provider. Those who were born before 1957 have likely already been exposed to the virus and are immune. Those born between 1957 and 1971 should check with a doctor to ensure they've been properly immunized as vaccines administered during that time may not have been reliable.

Healthcare providers should report suspected measles cases to their local health department.

Visit the Department's dedicated measles website here for information about the measles, immunization data, and information for providers.

More information about the measles vaccine can be found here.