PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
May 28, 2015

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Measles Exposures Related to Confirmed Case, Department of Health Urges Residents to Get Up-to-Date on Vaccinations

The New Jersey Department of Health has identified a person confirmed to have measles who may have exposed people at a funeral home in Fords, Middlesex County on May 11 and 14.

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that can cause serious medical complications. As a result, the Department recommends that anyone who visited Flynn and Son Funeral Home, 23 Ford Ave., Fords, on Monday, May 11, between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. and on Thursday, May 14 between 1:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., contact a health care provider immediately to discuss potential exposure and risk of developing the illness. The individual was unaware they were contagious while visiting the funeral home.

Anyone who suspects an exposure is urged to call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency room. Special arrangements can be made for you to be evaluated while also protecting other patients and medical staff from possible infection.

People exposed at Flynn and Son Funeral Home may develop symptoms as late as June 4. Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.

"We urge everyone to check to make sure their vaccinations and family members' vaccinations are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations," said Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. "Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it protects others around you who are too young to get the vaccine or can't receive it for medical reasons. Two doses of measles vaccine are more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles."

People planning to travel internationally should be sure to visit their health care providers to discuss vaccinations. It is recommended that children 6 through 11 months of age traveling internationally receive a dose of MMR before departure from the United States.

Measles is easily spread through the air when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.

Anyone who hasn't been vaccinated or has not had measles is at risk if they are exposed to the virus.

Measles can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain) in 20 percent of patients, especially children under 5 and adults older than 20. Measles infection in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth weight baby.

The Department is working with Flynn and Son Funeral Home, local health departments, and with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to locate persons potentially exposed at the funeral home.

For more information about measles, contact your health care provider, visit the New Jersey Department of Health web site at https://nj.gov/health/cd/measles/geninfo.shtml

Frequently Asked Questions on measles:
https://nj.gov/health/cd/documents/faq/measles_faq.pdf

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's web site on measles:
http://www.cdc.gov/measles/

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NJDeptofhealth

Last Reviewed: 5/28/2015