Australian tourist may have exposed New Yorkers to measles

Tourist with measles may have exposed many in region, health officials say

Potential measles exposure in Orange, Putnam counties

Patient Zero in a potential measles outbreak in NY is an Australian tourist who visited the city on a Bible study tour, according to a public announcement by the state's Department of Health warning visitors to hotels and tourist sites in Manhattan, Orange and Putnam counties of possible contamination.

Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose.

The Australian sightseer who had the measles was in NY from February 16 to 21, said the state Department of Health.

-Oasis Bible Tours at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Avenue, New York City.

Watchtower Educational Center, 100 Watchtower Drive, Patterson, NY, between 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on February 19.

The general manager of the Atlantic Avenue Best Western told the Brooklyn Eagle that as of yesterday, "everything here is perfectly fine".

-Comfort Inn & Suites Goshen - Middletown, 20 Hatfield Lane, Goshen, NY.

Excel Urgent Care, 1 Hatfield Lane, Goshen, NY, between 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on February 21.

The statement from the Department of Health stated that they had confirmed the case of the Australian tourist as measles and he could be spreading the virus causing the disease via air droplets that are coughed or sneezed out. The risk of developing measles is very low, especially for people who have been immunized. These droplets that contain the virus may keep the virus alive for up to two hours during which time susceptible individuals may inhale them and get infected, the experts warn. DOH recommends that anyone should contact their health provider if they develop measles symptoms. Anyone there at the same time may have been exposed to the virus.

They usually show up 10-12 days after exposure.

"This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness", officials said.

Just over 90 per cent of children in the U.S. receive measles vaccinations, which is over 90 per cent effective.

The MMR shot is part of a set of needed vaccinations required for children to be in a public school, but all states enable parents to take a religious or individual exception. In New York State, measles immunization is required of children enrolled in schools, daycare, and pre-kindergarten.

Previous Friday, the New York State Department of Health declared that an Australian visitor was proved to be bringing the viral disease times within their journey. Health care providers should report all suspected cases of measles to their local health department.

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