Measles outbreak in New York City

June 8, 2011 1:49:41 PM PDT
A measles outbreak in New York City, and it seems to be spreading.

The health department released an alert to doctors in the city today, telling them to be on the lookout for measles.

Officials said three more people have contracted measles New York, adding to the latest outbreak that has sickened a total of 13 people since January. Two of the new cases are adults and one is an 8 month old child. None of them had recently traveled abroad, which officials say means the virus is now spreading here from person to person.

Dr Sapna Parikh spoke to Dr. Nat Litman, who is Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Children's Hospital of Montefiore.

"This is a big deal because you're increasing numbers of children who are not being immunized and they are at great risk of acquiring measles and the consequences," said Dr. Litman.

Measles is a serious and very contagious illness caused by a virus. It spreads like the cold and flu through thru coughing, sneezing and close contact.

"The consequences of measles can be very severe ranging from ear infection to brain inflammation and death.

According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control, measles has been on the rise across the country since 1996. Health officials recommend that everyone over the age of 1 be fully vaccinated to prevent the illness.

All 13 people in New York city are expected to recover.