U.S. officials issue warning about foreign teen with measles

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A teenager visiting the U.S. from Asia while infected with measles may have spread the contagious disease to others at a hotel and hospital in Bergen County, according to New Jersey Dept. of Health officials.

The 16-year-old was visiting the U.S. from May 12 to May 15, officials said Friday.

Those whom the infected traveler spread it to could still develop symptoms as late as June 5th.

Local health officials are alerting patients treated at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood during the timeframe the patient was there, as well as all staff members and volunteers.

Also, anyone who stayed at the Ramada Rochelle Park on West Passaic Street is also at risk of contracting the infection, which is spread through the air, mucus and saliva.

“We are communicating this information as a precautionary matter,” said Maureen Curran Kleinman, a Valley spokeswoman, in a prepared statement. “The risk of contracting measles as a result of this occurrence is extremely low.”

North Jersey reports:

The staff took steps to control the spread of infection as soon as the patient arrived last Saturday, she said. The patient was at the hospital from 9 a.m. on May 13 until 1 a.m. Sunday, May 14, she said. The health department said exposure may also have occurred on Monday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Measles is a serious disease that could cause complications if not promptly addressed. Those with compromised immune systems and pregnant women are at even greater risk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following symptoms of measles can appear about seven to 14 days after infection.

  • high fever,
  • cough,
  • runny nose
  • red, watery eyes
  • Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth.

“Anyone who suspects an exposure is urged to call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department,” said Donna Leusner, a health department spokeswoman. This is crucially important to do, so arrangements can be made to evaluate the patient and to control the further spread of the infection among those exposed to the patient.

This measles case marks the third outbreak in New Jersey in 2017. Two other travel-related cases were reported earlier this year.

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