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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
April 27, 2011

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Acting Commissioner

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609-984-7160


 
Public Health Alert -- Measles Exposures Related to Camden County Man; DHSS Urges Residents to Get Up-to-Date on Vaccinations


 

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has identified a Camden County man with probable measles who may have exposed an unknown number of people at public locations in South Jersey between April 21 and 24.  The man had been exposed to an infected woman who recently traveled here from Italy.   This case is not related to possible measles exposures DHSS announced last week involving two French women.

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that can cause serious medical complications.  As a result, DHSS recommends that anyone who was in the following locations, which were visited by the Camden County man during the incubation period for measles, contact a health provider immediately to discuss potential exposure and risk of developing the illness:

  • On April 21, anyone who visited the Pop Shop, 729 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • April 22, anyone who visited the Home Depot, 2160 Route 70, West Cherry Hill, between 8 a.m. and noon
  • April 23, anyone who visited Kohl’s, 2133 Route 38, Cherry Hill, between 6 and 9 p.m.
  • April 24, anyone who visited:
    • Magnolia Nursery, 405 S. White Horse Pike, Magnolia between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    • Toys R Us, 500 New Jersey 38, Cherry Hill, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    • Walmart, 500 New Jersey 38, Cherry Hill, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    • Home Depot, 2160 Route 70, West Cherry Hill, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    • Lowe’s, 122 W. Oak Ave., Lawnside, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Anyone who suspects an exposure is urged to call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency room. Special arrangements can be made for you to be evaluated while also protecting other patients and medical staff from possible infection.  Symptoms may develop as early as April 26 or as late as May 15.  Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.

 “We urge everyone to check to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations. 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,” said Dr. Christina Tan, acting deputy commissioner and state epidemiologist.

 “And if you’re planning an international trip, the World Health Organization recommends that adults or adolescents unsure of their immune status get a dose of measles vaccine before traveling,” she added.  Europe is in the midst of a serious measles outbreak, with more than 6,500 cases reported in 33 countries so far in 2011

Measles is easily spread through the air when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person. Anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated or has not had measles is at risk if they are exposed to the virus.

Measles can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain) in 20 percent of patients, especially children under 5 and adults older than 20.  Measles infection in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth weight baby.

The Camden County man is considered a probable case because he has measles symptoms and documented exposure to a confirmed measles case, but no laboratory confirmation at this time.  Laboratory test results are pending.  The vaccine status is unknown for the infected woman who had traveled to the U.S. from Italy.

DHSS is working with local health departments and with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to locate the Camden County man’s contacts, and continues to investigate exposures to the earlier, unrelated cases of measles in the two French women who developed symptoms on April 10, three days after arriving in New Jersey.  The women have since recovered.

However, because the women were infectious when they attended a party at a Livingston restaurant, DHSS continues to recommend that patrons of the Eppes Essen restaurant on East Mount Pleasant Avenue on April 10 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. contact their health care provider immediately to discuss their potential exposure and risk of developing the illness.

People exposed at the restaurant in Livingston could develop symptoms as late as May 1.  

For more information about measles, contact your health care provider or visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web site at www.cdc.gov/measles.

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