measles, measles vaccine, measles outbreak, measles exposure
Health officials are warning New Yorkers to check if they have received a measles vaccine. Photo: Reuters

State health officials are warning of possible measles exposure in Brooklyn as well as Orange and Putnam counties after tourists from Europe were confirmed to have the infection.

 

Officials issued a warning to anyone who may have been in contact with the tourists, as measles is a highly contagious viral infection that causes fever, runny nose, coughing, rash and pink eye (conjunctivitis).

 

Two European tourists visited a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness in Brooklyn on April 15 and also toured two separate Watchtower Jehovah’s Witness facilities in Tuxedo Park and Patterson, New York.

 

The measles virus remains alive in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours. Officials say the times and locations when people may have been exposed are:

 

- Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 873 New Jersey Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 15, 2018
- Watchtower World Headquarters, 1 Kings Drive, Tuxedo Park, NY, between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on April 16, 2018
- Watchtower Educational Center, 100 Watchtower Drive, Patterson, NY, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on April 17, 2018

Measles symptoms usually appear 10 to 12 days after exposure, officials said, but could be present after as little as a week or as long as 21 days.

Individuals are only considered protected or immune to the virus if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR), have previously had measles or have a lab test confirming that they are immune.

If you have not had the vaccine or are not immune and think you may have come in contact with measles, the state is urging you to contact your local health care provider if you develop symptoms.

Individuals are encouraged to contact their provider before going in person to receive care, officials said, to not expose others.