Health Alert: 130 cases of measles now confirmed in Rockland County

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Marcus Solis has the latest on an outbreak of measles in Rockland County. (Shutterstock)

Health officials have now confirmed 130 cases of measles within Rockland County since October as well as 2 suspected cases under investigation.

These confirmed cases are the total since the outbreak began and are not all active cases.

Rockland County's Commissioner of Health, Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, announced in November that all schools in the Village of New Square were required to keep students who are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated against the disease home until 21 days have passed since the last case of measles is confirmed in the county.

The same restriction applies to schools in Spring Valley and Monsey with a measles vaccination rate of less than 70 percent.

RELATED: What to know about measles symptoms, vaccine and treatment

Symptoms of measles include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or a runny nose, and they could appear 10 to 12 days after exposure.

The virus can remain in the air or on surfaces for up to two hours.

To prevent the spread of illness, health officials are 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.

RELATED: Rockland County Department of Health measles outbreak Information

The update from Rockland County comes as health officials continue to scramble to contain a measles outbreak in the U.S. Northwest.

There are 40 confirmed cases in the Northwest, including 38 clustered in southwest Washington, one in Portland and one in Seattle. Thirteen additional suspected cases were reported Wednesday, and some of those will likely be confirmed, Melnick said.

Officials haven't yet determined how that measles outbreak started. The first patient sought medical care on Dec. 31, but other sick people may not have gone to a doctor or hospital, he said.

Of the confirmed cases in the northwest, most patients were under 10 and at least 34 patients were not immunized.

There were 17 outbreaks and about 350 cases of measles in the U.S. last year, also with no fatalities.

Children receive the first vaccine between 12 and 15 months old and the second vaccine between ages 4 and 6.

Experts say one vaccine provides 93 percent immunity from measles, and two shots provide 97 percent protection. The vaccine is less effective in those under a year old and is generally not given to infants.

The virus, spread by coughing or sneezing, can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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