Seven adult cases and nine pediatric cases have been reported to date, as opposed to the normal 5 to 10 in the city all year.
What's also troubling is that at least two cases were transmitted right in a doctor's office.
"One can understand how that happened, but that's exactly why we're trying to minimize the opportunity for future exposure," said Dr. Jane Zucker of the New York City Health Department.
New Yorkers are urged to make sure all household members, including young children, are vaccinated. To date, there have been four hospitalizations as a result of this outbreak.
The outbreak impacts the following zip codes: 10034, 10040, 10033, 10032, 10451, and 10453, which include northern Manhattan and the Melrose and Morris Heights sections of the Bronx.
Measles is a highly contagious viral infection characterized by a generalized rash and high fever, accompanied by cough, red eyes, and runny nose, lasting five to six days. The illness typically begins with a rash on the face and then moves down the body, and may include the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
People who contract the measles virus can spread the infection for four days before developing a rash and for four days after the rash sets in. Measles can spread easily through the air to unprotected individuals. If you suspect you have measles, call and explain your symptoms to your doctor or medical provider before leaving to avoid exposing others to the measles virus.
The Department of Health is working with New York City hospitals to prevent additional exposure to the virus in emergency departments. The health department is also asking pediatric-care facilities in Manhattan and the Bronx to identify and vaccinate children who have not received the MMR vaccine and to give the second dose of MMR vaccine to children at the next medical visit.
Adults who are unsure of their vaccination history can be revaccinated or obtain a blood test to see if they are immune. Several adults who are included in this outbreak thought they had been vaccinated in the past, but lacked documentation.
As many as one in three people with measles develop complications. These complications from measles can be very serious and include pneumonia, miscarriage, brain inflammation, hospitalization and even death. Infants under 1 year of age, people who have a weakened immune system and non-immune pregnant women are at highest risk of severe illness and complications.
Protect Yourself and Your Family from Measles:
For more information on measles, visit NYC.gov