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Measles Information For Families

The Rockland County Department of Health has issued an alert regarding confirmed cases of measles and potential new exposures in the County. Please make sure that your family's measles vaccinations are up-to-date.


Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing. The virus can survive in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours. The illness starts with a runny nose, red eyes, sore throat, cough and fever. The first symptoms of measles are the same as for many other upper respiratory infections. The disease is easily spread before it is recognized.


The upper respiratory symptoms are followed by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Complications include pneumonia, ear infections, diarrhea and encephalitis. Very young children, adults and immune-compromised persons are at more risk for severe complications. Measles is so contagious that 90% of people who lack immunity will contract the disease when exposed to an infected person (CDC).


Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine has been highly successful in eliminating the disease (CDC). It is a safe and effective vaccine. New York State Public Health Law 2164 requires all students who attend public school be age-appropriately immunized.


New York State public health law allows for medical and religious exemption from vaccinations. New York State public health law does not allow philosophical exemptions. New York State allows for documentation of immunity that includes either an antibody titer or practitioner documentation of the disease.


The East Ramapo Central School District continues to monitor for illness in our schools. Students who are unimmunized may be excluded from school if there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable communicable disease, such as measles or pertussis (whooping cough).


For Students of Spring Valley High School: On January 7, 2019, the Rockland County Department of Health issued a Commissioner’s Order requiring any student without a measles vaccination to be excluded from school until appropriate vaccination documentation is provided. Parents and students will be notified regarding incomplete measles vaccination. For further information, please contact the school nurse Ms. Margaret Cullen-Reardon at 845-577-6512.


For more information about measles including upcoming immunization clinics, please visit the Rockland County Health Department website.