New York City is investigating a measles outbreak in parts of northern Manhattan and the Bronx, the health department announced Friday.
So far, 16 cases of measles have been identified, including seven adults and nine children, officials said. Four hospitalizations have occurred because of the outbreak.
The health department is working with hospitals citywide to prevent further spread of the virus in emergency rooms. Pediatric facilities in Manhattan and the Bronx have been asked to identify children who have not received the MMR vaccine.
A blood test can be used to inform adults of their immunity. Several adults in the outbreak thought they had been vaccinated in the past but did not have documentation, according to the Health Department.
The city urged New Yorkers to make sure all household members, including children 1 and over, are vaccinated.
"Measles is a highly contagious viral infection characterized by a generalized rash and high fever, accompanied by cough, red eyes and runny nose, lasting five to six days," the health department said.
The illness usually begins with a rash on the face, moving down the body. If contracted, those with the virus can spread the infection for four days before the rash appears.
"Measles can spread easily through the air to unprotected individuals," according to the department. The city urged New Yorkers to explain symptoms to medical providers before going to the doctor's office to avoid exposure to others.
Up to one in three people with measles develop complications, including pneumonia, miscarriage, brain inflammation and even death.
For more information, visit the health department website.
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