One Case of Measles Confirmed in Somerset County
Residents at various Somerville, Bridgewater, Hillsborough locations in last 2 weeks urged to contact a doctor.
The New Jersey Department of Health has confirmed one case of measles in Somerset County and is investigating two other reported cases of measles in people determined to be at locations in the area from March 6 to March 12.
Measles is a very contagious viral illness spread through the air that can cause serious medical complications, according to a release from the department. A list of locations, dates and times have been provided for when anyone could have been exposed to those found with, and suspected of having, measles.
In the first case, confirmed March 13, a local health department was made aware of a medical center employee who developed fever and a rash on March 8. This person had contact with a known laboratory-confirmed case of measles in an unvaccinated person who had traveled internationally.
A second case was identified March 13, in a person who also had contact with a laboratory-confirmed case. This second individual has not yet been confirmed to have measles.
The Department of Health is recommending that anyone who was at the following locations contact a health provider immediately:
- Somerset Medical Center, on Rehill Avenue in Somerville — March 4 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.; March 5 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.; March 6 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; March 7 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.; March 8 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.; and March 11 between 8:45 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Steeplechase Cancer Center, on Rehill Avenue in Somerville—March 6 between 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.; March 8 between 12 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.; and March 11 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
- Somerset County Human Services Building, on Warren Street in Somerville—March 6 between 9:15 a.m. and 2 p.m.; March 7 between 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.; and March 11 between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Somerset County Administration Building, on Grove Street in Somerville—March 7 between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
- Carlo's Pizza & Pasta, on Union Avenue in Bridgewater—March 8 between 4 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.
- T.G.I.Friday's, on Route 202 in Bridgewater—March 9 between 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
- Barnes and Noble Booksellers, on Route 202/206 in Bridgewater—March 10 between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Bloomingdale's at the Bridgewater Commons Mall, on Commons Way in Bridgewater—March 10 between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Adam & Eve Hairstylists, on Route 206 in Hillsborough—March 12 between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
"We urge everyone to check to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations," said Christina Tan, state epidemiologist, in the release. "Two doses of measles vaccine is more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles."
Any person who believes he or she has been exposed, the release said, should call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency room, and arrangements can be made for evaluation without possibly infecting other patients and medical staff.
People may have developed symptoms—which include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red or watery eyes—as early as March 13. Symptoms could show within seven to 18 days after exposure, as early as March 11 and as late as March 30.
"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," Tan said in the release.
Those who are unvaccinated and are exposed to measles may be able to prevent infection by getting vaccinated within 72 hours of exposure, the release said. The immune can also lessen the severity, and it should be given within six days of exposure, the release said.
Somerset Medical Center has alerted employees, patients and others potentially exposed at the hospital, and the Department of Health is working with local health departments.
For more information, contact your health care provider.
A call center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The phone number of the call center is 1-866-341-9788.