More than two weeks after the last confirmed case of measles, two new cases have been confirmed in New York City, bringing the total number of cases to 26, Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett announced on Wednesday.
One of the new cases is not related to the outbreak — it is associated with foreign travel. The outbreak is still rooted in Northern Manhattan, with 12 pediatric cases and 14 adult cases confirmed to date.
"There are steps everyone can take to stop this outbreak," Bassett said. "To prevent additional cases, I am calling on all urgent care centers, emergency departments, and clinics to promptly recognize measles symptoms in their patients and take necessary precautions. New Yorkers, please do your part and make sure your family is vaccinated."
She added, "If you suspect you have measles, call your medical provider before seeking medical attention to avoid exposing others to this highly contagious virus."
In March, the department announced that it had identified 16 cases in northern Manhattan and the Bronx and in the beginning of April, the department said that three of those cases were on the Lower East Side. But earlier this month, the number of measles cases had dropped to 24 after one case was ruled out.
From Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, 54 people were said to have measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Every year, approximately 60 cases are reported in the United States.
The last measles epidemic in the United States took place from 1989 through 1991. During that time period, more than 55,000 cases and 123 deaths were confirmed.
More than 95 percent of people who get a single dose of the MMR vaccine (the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella) will be immune to all three viruses, according to the DOH. A second dose gives immunity to nearly all of the individuals who did not respond to the first dose.