A total of 16 people in northern Manhattan and the Bronx have been diagnosed with measles, New York City officials announced Friday. The cases include nine children and seven adults. Four of them have been hospitalized.
The announcement comes just weeks after Rockland residents were warned of possible exposure at the Palisades Center mall after a child who had been there was diagnosed with the illness. No additional cases were reported in Rockland related to that child.
But other cases have been reported over the last several weeks statewide including a person in the Albany area and a student at the University of Rochester.
Measles had been essentially eliminated in the United States due to childhood vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But it has been making a comeback because of unfounded fears of a link between the vaccine and autism.
After about 60 cases nationwide per year for many years, that number jumped to 159 cases in the first eight months of 2013, according to the CDC.
Most outbreaks occur when someone traveling to another country brings the disease home and infects others.
The Rockland child diagnosed had recently traveled outside the country,
Measles is caused by a virus and spread by nasal or throat secretions. It causes fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. Symptoms usually appear in 10 to 12 days, but can occur as late as 18 days after exposure.
Complications are common. About one in 10 children also gets an ear infection, and up to one in 20 gets pneumonia. For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
— Jane Lerner firstname.lastname@example.org