Thursday, February 6, 2014


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Measles, whooping cough cases reported

ALBANY - The New York State Department of Health reported that measles has been confirmed in a student at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and exposures of members of the public may have occurred in a number of different settings beyond the college campus.

Anyone who was a patient or accompanied a patient to Samaritan Hospital Emergency Department, Troy, New York (Rensselaer County), from 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 31, through 3:45 a.m. on Saturday, February 1, and is not immune to measles (see criteria below) should contact the hospital or county health department immediately to determine if they should get treatment. Preventive treatment must be given within six (6) days of the exposure.

  • Samaritan Hospital: 518-271-3708 (before 4 p.m.); 518-271-3424 (after 4 p.m.)
  • Rensselaer County Department of Health: 518-270-2655
  • Schenectady County Department of Health: 518-386-2810

In addition, anyone who visited the following locations on the dates and times listed below could have been exposed to measles:

  • RPI Campus, Troy, NY (Rensselaer County), from January 26th – January 31st
  • Mohonasen High School, Schenectady, NY (Schenectady County), on January 26th from 7 a.m. through 2 p.m. Individuals may have been visiting the school for a volleyball tournament.

Individuals are not at risk of contracting measles if they are immune. A person is considered immune if they have received two doses of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine OR if they were born before January 1, 1957, OR have a history of laboratory-confirmed measles, OR have a blood test confirming immunity.

In an unrelated instance, a student at Warwick Valley High School in Orange County has been treated for confirmed pertussis, or whopping cough, County Health Commissioner Dr. Eli Avila wrote in a letter to parents.

Antibiotics given early in the infection may reduce symptoms and does shorten the period of communicability. 

Dr. Avila said the main danger of pertussis is to infants up to one year, but anyone of any age with a persistent cough should be evaluated for pertussis. 

“Do not allow anyone with an active cough near young children, particularly babies,” he said.