THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

New Jersey reports third suspected case of measles

The New Jersey Department of Health issued a public health alert on Thursday after identifying a third person suspected of contracting measles who may have exposed additional people between March 6 and March 12.

The Department of Health said that people who visited the Somerset Medical Center, Steeplechase Cancer Center, Somerset County Human Services Building, Somerset County Administration Building, the Bridgewater-based Carlo's Pizza & Pasta, the Bridgewater-based T.G.I.Friday's, the Bridgewater-based Barnes & Noble Booksellers Somerville, the Bridgewater-based Bloomingdale's at Bridgewater Mall and the Hillsborough-based Adam & Eve Hairstylists at certain times between March 6 and March 12 should contact a health provider immediately to discuss potential exposure risk.

"We urge everyone to check to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations," Christina Tan, New Jersey's state epidemiologist, said. "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. Two doses of measles vaccine is more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles."

People who may have been exposed should call a healthcare provider prior to going to a medical office or emergency room to protect other patients and medical staff from infection. Measles symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose, red, watery eyes and rash. The disease can cause serious complications in 20 percent of patients, such as pneumonia and encephalitis.

Tan said that people planning an international trip who are unsure of their immune status should get a measles vaccine dose prior to traveling.