FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
July 14, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford - The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is advising the public that they may have been exposed to measles. Exposure may have occurred during travel on the Cross Sound Ferry from New London, Connecticut, to Orient Point, Suffolk County, New York on July 7, 2010.
DPH was notified of a case by the New York Suffolk County Health Department. Times of travel are the 1:00 PM ferry “John H” to Orient Point and its return trip to New London at 3:00 PM. Persons who visited or stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, 2038 Old Country Road, Riverhead, New York, from 3:45 PM. Wednesday, July 7 through 2:00 PM Friday, July 9, 2010, may have been exposed as well.
Persons are considered to be immune to measles if they:
(1) have documentation of two doses of the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine or
(2) by a blood test that indicates immunity to measles or
(3) written documentation of measles disease diagnosed by a doctor.
Persons who were born before 1957 are also considered immune to measles. If you have had measles, have documented immunity to measles or have received a measles-containing vaccine – you are not at risk of getting sick.
Measles is highly contagious (spreads easily). When an infected person sneezes or coughs, droplets containing the virus spray into the air. Those droplets can land in other people’s noses or throats when they breathe or if they put their fingers in their mouth or nose after handling an infected surface. Symptoms usually appear in 10-12 days after exposure, although they may occur as early as 7 or as late as 21 days after exposure.
The early symptoms of measles are those of a bad cold. They include fever, sore throat, dry cough, a runny nose and red, watery eyes that may be sensitive to light. These symptoms are followed by a rash, which starts on the face and spreads to the entire body; the rash usually lasts five to six days. If you or anyone in your family develops these symptoms, please contact your health care provider or seek medical attention immediately. Measles is contagious and a person with measles should be kept separate from others to prevent further spread of the disease.
To prevent the spread of this highly communicable disease, the CT Department of Public Health asks individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles, to CALL their physicians, health care providers or emergency rooms BEFORE going for care AND / OR identify the individual as a potential measles patient immediately upon presentation so that others are not exposed in a waiting room.
The Department of Public Health Department also is asking all health providers to report IMMEDIATELY by phone, all cases of suspect measles to the State Department of Public Health at 860-509-7929. A blood test to confirm diagnosis should also be obtained. For additional information about measles, contact the State Immunization Program at 860-509-7929, the Department of Public Health website at: www.ct.gov/dph/immunizations or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at: www.cdc.gov.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.