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Department of Behavioral & Community Health

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For More Information Contact:
Sabrina Jaar Marzouka, Assistant Commissioner of Health at smarzouka@dutchessny.gov


January 31, 2015        Print version


Dutchess County Department of Public Health Responds to Isolated Measles Case

Poughkeepsie……A single case of measles was confirmed in Dutchess County on Thursday evening, January 29, 2015 at Bard College. The individual is a student at the college. The Dutchess County Department of Health is working in coordination with Bard College, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), local hospitals and emergency responders because the student had traveled recently on an Amtrak train creating the possibility of exposure beyond the college campus.

County Executive Marc Molinaro stated, “Our County Department of Health has been working directly with Bard College as well as NYS DOH the CDC and local agencies to minimize the risk of measles spreading beyond this single, isolated case."

Since the measles case was confirmed, Bard College has notified its campus community of the case and the Dutchess County Department of Health (DCDHO) held a measles vaccination clinic on Friday for any students, faculty, or staff who has not been vaccinated against measles. More than 120 staff and students on campus were vaccinated against the disease. DCDOH, working with Bard College Health Center and the NYSDOH, is reviewing of the immunization records to assess the level of protection of those on campus.

Fully vaccinated people are not considered at risk due to the high efficacy of the vaccine (97%). Should an immunized individual contract measles, they are much more likely to have a milder illness, and they are also less likely to spread the disease to other people, including people who aren’t vaccinated.

Dutchess County Health Department has been working to coordinating response within the county while the New York State Department of Health is leading the investigation and response for the Amtrak passengers and employees who may have been exposed. The individual with measles rode Amtrak train #283, departing New York Penn Station at 1:20 p.m. on January 25th. The train traveled to Albany, NY and then on to Niagara Falls. The New York State Department of Health is recommending that anyone traveling on Amtrak train #283 on January 25, 2015, and who is not immune to measles or not sure of their measles immunity, should contact their primary care physician if they become ill with fever.

Sabrina Jaar Marzouka, Dutchess County Assistant Commissioner of Health stated: “DCDOH is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to call their health care providers or a local emergency room BEFORE going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.”

While measles is highly contagious, the single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals should receive 2 doses of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine to be protected. A Physician's Advisory was sent to local healthcare providers and hospitals reminding them to consider measles should someone present with symptoms.

County Executive Molinaro urges residents who are concerned about potential measles exposure or symptoms to contact their health care providers for further guidance. Frequently asked questions and answers about measles are posted on the county website at www.dutchessny.gov

 

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A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
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