Ocean County officials: Up to 86 potentially exposed to measles at private event

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 file photo, a pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at his practice in Northridge, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 file photo, a pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at his practice in Northridge, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Health officials in Ocean County say 86 people who attended a private event may have been exposed to measles.

County health officials are currently contacting the attendees of the invitation-only event held in New York.

“The Ocean County Health Department is endeavoring to contact all of the potentially exposed persons and others in its continued investigation and efforts in support of containing the measles outbreak,” a department news release states.

Officials have not said when or specifically where the event happened.

There are currently 18 confirmed measles cases and six suspected cases under investigation in Ocean County.

Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator Daniel E. Regenye says the outbreak “is likely far from being over,” according to the release.

“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,” he said.

Measles is a highly contagious disease and spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.

Symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.

Anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not had measles is at risk if they are exposed, according to state officials.

“Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles,” said Dr. Christina Tan, New Jersey state epidemiologist. “Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it protects others around you who are too young to get the vaccine or can’t receive it for medical reasons.”

Health officials are urging schools to exclude students who haven’t been vaccinated to help slow the spread of the virus.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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