Tourist infected with measles visited Goshen

Anyone who visited the same locations may have been exposed

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— An Australian tourist with a now confirmed case of measles visited a number of places in New York City, Putnam and Orange Counties, including Goshen.

According to the New York State Department of Health, the tourist from Australia was in New York State between Feb. 16 and 21, potentially exposing others to measles. The risk of developing measles is very low, especially for people who have been immunized, according to state health officials. However, anyone who visited the same locations may have been exposed.

The tourist visited three places in Orange County:

Comfort Inn & Suites at 20 Hatfield Lane from 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 until 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 21

Excel Urgent Care at 1 Hatfield Lane in Goshen between 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 21

Orange Regional Medical Center Emergency Department on East Main Street in Middletown between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Feb. 21

Health officials also said the tourist was part of an Oasis Bible Tour group at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan the morning of Feb. 16 and the evening of Feb. 17, and visited the Watchtower Educational Center in Patterson, N.Y. between 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 19.

The tourist also visited two hotels in New York City: La Quinta Inn at 31 W. 71st Street in Manhattan between Feb. 16 and the morning of Feb. 19, and Best Western Hotel at 1324 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn from Feb. 19 until 12 p.m. on Feb. 20.

These times reflect the period that the infected individual was in these areas and a two-hour period after the individual left the area, according to the health department, as the virus remains alive in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.

What to doIndividuals who lack immunity, or who aren't sure if they have been vaccinated, should contact their health care provider if they develop measles symptoms, according to health officials.

Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose and usually appear 10 to 12 days after exposure. Individuals who may have been exposed and who lack immunity could begin experiencing symptoms at this time.

To prevent the spread of illness, the health department is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people. People first develop a fever, then may have a cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by appearance of the rash.

VaccineThe single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated, according to health officials. Individuals should receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be protected.

If a person is unsure if they are immune they should contact their health care provider. Typically, the first dose should be given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose should be given at four to six years of age (age of school entry), although individuals may also be vaccinated later in life.

In New York State, measles immunization is required of children enrolled in schools, daycare, and pre-kindergarten. Since August 1990, college students have also been required to demonstrate immunity against measles.

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