Camden County in New Jersey reports one confirmed case of measles

Camden officials are working with the state Department of Health to investigate contact tracing after a confirmed measles case.

A health care worker prepares syringes

File photo: A health care worker prepares syringes, including a vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), for a child's inoculations at the International Community Health Services Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson/AP Photo)

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Health officials in Camden County, N.J., have identified one confirmed case of measles and at least two locations at health care facilities where others may have been exposed.

The origins of the infection are not yet known, officials said Friday night. There is no immediate evidence that the case is connected to the ongoing measles outbreak in Philadelphia.

“Given the serious consequences of measles and the ease with which it can be spread, we will be engaged in a large investigative effort centered on locating and ensuring the immune status of those individuals who may have been in contact with this patient,” Camden County Health Officer Paschal Nwako said in a statement.

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County officials are working with the state Department of Health to investigate and conduct contact tracing.

The person with measles was identified as a county resident who attended a daycare, where anyone who may have been exposed has already been identified and notified.

While infectious, the person visited the following locations at specific dates and times, which is when others may have been exposed:

  • Jan. 5 from 11:35 a.m. to 2:32 p.m. at Cooper University Healthcare Pediatrics, 6400 Main Street, Voorhees Township, N.J.
  • Jan. 8 and 9 from 8 p.m. to 12:38 a.m. at Jefferson South Jersey Stratford Hospital emergency department, 18 Laurel Road Stratford, N.J.

Anyone exposed and infected during this window could develop symptoms as late as Feb. 2, health officials said.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads primarily through respiratory droplets in the air. Transmission can occur for up to two hours in an enclosed space with an infected person.

Infection is typically earmarked by fever and skin rashes that appear as flat red spots on the face and body. Other symptoms can include cough, runny nose and watery eyes.

If infected, children younger than 5 and older adults are at an increased risk of hospitalization and complications such as diarrhea and dehydration, pneumonia and encephalitis, or swelling of the brain.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of measles should quarantine and contact their primary care provider for testing, county health officials said.

The combination measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is highly effective in preventing infection across a person’s lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children get the first of two doses at one year old, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years old.

“We urge all residents to be vigilant of symptoms and to make sure they are up to date on their MMR vaccine,” Nwako said, “because that is the best way we can protect ourselves and others from this disease.”

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