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First case of measles since 2013 confirmed in Nassau, officials say

Nassau officials on Wednesday announced the county's first case of measles since 2013 but said it is not related to others in New York State.

The adult who contracted the virus is a resident of a foreign country who recently arrived in the United States and “was staying in a private residence” in Nassau, said county health department spokeswoman Mary Ellen Laurain.

“We identified those in our county who were in contact” with the person, she said. Those who have not been vaccinated against the disease will be encouraged to get tested and vaccinated, Laurain said, with a  "very low" number of people potentially exposed.

For privacy reasons, Laurain declined to give detailed information on the individual, including where in the county the person was staying, and the person's home country. Laurain said the patient's country has an ongoing measles outbreak.

The individual is still in the United States but “the person is hospitalized and no longer presents a further risk to the public," Laurain said. "The person is isolated from the public.”

The only other recent case on Long Island, in Suffolk County, was confirmed in April. It also involved a person who had recently arrived in the United States. Health officials determined the person had visited a bank, supermarket and drugstore in Hampton Bays and Southampton while contagious. Suffolk administered the measles vaccine to 38 people potentially exposed, said health department spokeswoman Grace Kelly-McGovern.

Nassau’s announcement came a day after New York City declared an end to its measles outbreak, which led to 654 diagnoses of the virus in the city since October 2018, including 52 related hospitalizations. On April 9, the city had declared a public health emergency for parts of Brooklyn. Officials there said that two incubation periods — about 42 days — had passed since the last people with measles in the emergency area were infectious.

In other parts of New York State, as of Tuesday, there were 414 confirmed measles cases since October, according to the state Department of Health. More than 300 of those are in Rockland County.

Measles is an extremely contagious infection that can be spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and the virus remains in the air for up to two hours after the person leaves a space, according to the state health department.

The two-dose measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is 97 percent effective in preventing measles, the state health department said.