THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

New York investigates measles outbreak in Manhattan, Bronx

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced on Friday that it identified 16 cases of measles in northern Manhattan and the Bronx, including nine pediatric cases.

The health department urged New Yorkers to ensure all household members, including young children, are vaccinated against the disease. The outbreak resulted in four hospitalizations.

The city's health department is working with local hospitals to prevent additional exposure to the virus in emergency departments. The department requested that pediatric care facilities in the Bronx and Manhattan identify and vaccinate children who have yet to receive the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and to give the second dose of MMR to children at the next medical visit.

Adults who are unsure of their vaccination status can be revaccinated or get a blood test to determine if they are immune. Several adults who contracted measles in the recent outbreak thought they were vaccinated in the past, but they lacked the documentation.

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection characterized by high fever and a generalized rash that starts on the face and moves down the body. Measles can spread easily through the air to individuals who aren't vaccinated.

As many as one in three people with measles develop complications, which include pneumonia, hospitalization, brain inflammation, hospitalization and even death.