Putnam County Department of Health Confirms Measles Case, More Exposures Possible

Brewster, NY— The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) has confirmed a positive case of measles. The patient has been isolated to avoid spreading the disease further. Measles is a serious, highly contagious disease that can be spread through the air by coughing or sneezing. In rare cases it can be deadly.

“Keep in mind that this is currently one case of measles,” reassures County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Please support the efforts of the health department as they work to reduce the risk of measles exposure and transmission. We continue to urge all residents to check their vaccination status to protect themselves.”

Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, further explains, “Before this person was isolated, there may have been additional exposures. We are working with local partners to identify all possible contacts. If you are unsure if you or your children are protected from measles, reach out to your physician or one of our communicable disease nurses.” PCDOH nurses are available by calling 845-808-1390.

Several possible exposure sites have been identified: the Route 52 Laundromat, the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God church, and following the service, at the Annual Feast Day Celebration, and also at the Putnam Hospital Center Emergency Department.

Anyone in the laundromat at 184 Route 52 in Carmel on Saturday, September 21, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. who develops symptoms before Saturday, October 12, should call the PCDOH as soon as possible to understand their possible risk and what action to take.

Anyone who attended church service at the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God at 1050 Route 6 in Mahopac on Sunday, September 22, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., or the celebration afterwards from 12 noon to 6 p.m. and develops symptoms before Sunday, October 13, should also call the health department as soon as possible.

Anyone in the Putnam Hospital Center Emergency Department at 670 Stoneleigh Ave in Carmel on Saturday, September 28, between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. who has not been contacted by the PDCOH, should also call the health department as soon as possible.

Individuals born before 1957, anyone who has had measles disease, or those who have proof of receiving 2 MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccines, are less likely to become sick.

“Measles symptoms begin with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat. “It is followed by a rash that spreads over the body. If anyone has these symptoms, call your doctor or the emergency room first. Do not go directly to a medical facility. Isolation procedures need to begin immediately upon arrival.”

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Measles Watch in Putnam

There are currently no known measles cases in Putnam County. However, outbreaks have occurred in surrounding areas, most recently with eight cases confirmed in Westchester. The Putnam County Department of Health is proactively preparing for possible cases here. Educational efforts are underway to support the public and our health care providers.

If you think you or a family member have been exposed or are having symptoms, you should stay home and call your health care provider first. If you do have the measles, you could spread it to others who are not immune. That is why it is best to call to your doctor, an urgent care center or your emergency room before going there. They will tell you the best way to get checked without exposing others.

The measles virus is a danger to children, pregnant women and immune-compromised people. All of these groups may be present in your health care providers’ offices, urgent care centers or an emergency room.

It is also important to know your own immunization status. If you are unsure, you should check with your physician and get the measles vaccine to protect yourself if necessary.

If you have questions about measles or the measles vaccine, call the New York State Measles Hotline at 888-364-4837.