Many more Hudson Valley residents have confirmed cases of measles.

On Friday, the Orange County Department of Health advised residents that the number of confirmed measles cases in the county is now 20, adding there has continued to be a steady increase in the number of cases in the Hudson Valley and New York City region. In mid-April, there were 15 confirmed cases of measles in Orange County.

“With friends and family getting together for the Passover and Easter Holidays, we are especially concerned about the spread of measles which is highly contagious,” Orange County Commissioner of Health Dr. Irina Gelman said in a press release.

Also on Friday, health officials in Rockland County announced the number of confirmed cases there has risen to 194, an increase of eight in five days.  At least five were sent to the ICU in Rockland County because of measles, officials say.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people. People first develop a fever, then often a cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by an appearance of a rash. People are considered infectious four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.

Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or a runny nose. Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as seven days and as late as 21 days after exposure.

In October, it was reported an international traveler with measles visited multiple locations in Rockland and Westchester counties. Among the locations infected with measles was the Costco in Nanuet and Westchester Medical Center.

Around Thanksgiving, shoppers at the Palisades Mall were potentially exposed to measles. 

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