New Jersey Department of Health

PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
June 6, 2024

Kaitlan Baston, MD, MSc, DFASAM
Commissioner

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

NJ Health Department Alerts Residents of Travel-Associated Confirmed Measles Case, Urges Individuals To Stay Up to Date on Vaccines

TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is alerting residents about potential exposure associated with a confirmed, travel-associated case of measles. Individuals – especially parents, guardians, health care providers, and caregivers – are urged to be aware of the symptoms of this highly contagious virus and to stay up to date with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) shots.

The confirmed case is a resident of Somerset County and developed measles following travel from a country that is currently experiencing an ongoing outbreak of measles.

Measles symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, watery red eyes, and a rash that usually appears between three and five days after symptoms begin. The rash usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, torso, arms, legs, and feet. Measles can also cause serious complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and can lead to miscarriage in pregnant people, premature birth, or a low-birth-weight baby.

Anyone who visited the following location at the specified date and times may have been exposed to the virus:

  • Location: Emergency Department, Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center 1 Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro Township, NJ 08536
  • Date & Time: June 1, 2024 between 12:00 PM (noon) and 3:30 PM  

NJDOH recommends that anyone who visited the location listed above during the specified date and times should contact a health care provider immediately to discuss potential exposure and risk of developing the illness.

Potentially exposed individuals, if infected, could develop symptoms as late as June 26, 2024. Contact tracing is underway. As of June 5, no additional associated cases have been identified.

The virus is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes and can remain in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves the area. People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.

NJDOH is working in collaboration with local health officials and Penn Medicine to notify people who might have been exposed and to identify additional exposures that may have occurred. Those who may have been exposed or who suspect illness should call their health care provider first before arriving at any facility so that necessary infection prevention precautions can be taken to protect other patients and staff.

Individuals at risk include those who have not been fully vaccinated or have not had measles in the past.

NJDOH encourages all residents to stay up-to-date on routine vaccinations and especially recommends that New Jersey residents planning to travel, regardless of destination, are up to date on MMR shots.

MMR vaccine, administered in two doses, is safe and the most effective way to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella. The vaccine is also effective at preventing complications caused by these highly contagious diseases.

Resources:

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