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Measles outbreak hits the Lower East Side

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Twenty-five cases of measles have been confirmed in New York City, including three new cases on the Lower East Side, Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I urge New Yorkers to ensure all household members, including young children 12 months and older, are vaccinated," Bassett said. "Measles is highly contagious and can spread easily through the air."

Since February, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has confirmed 12 pediatric cases and 13 adult cases. Last month, the Health Department announced that it had identified 16 cases of measles in northern Manhattan and the Bronx — seven adult cases and 9 pediatric cases.

Bassett encouraged people who suspect that they have measles to call their medical providers before seeking medical attention to prevent themselves from infecting others with the virus.

She also called on urgent care centers, emergency departments and clinics to inform their staff members about measles and isolate patients who might have the virus.

From Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, 54 people in the United States have been reported as having measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Roughly 60 cases in the United States are reported every year.