Health Department: Measles may have spread at hospitals

Health Department: Measles may have spread at hospitals

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The New York City Health Department has confirmed its investigators are looking into whether a recent and rare outbreak of the measles in northern Manhattan might have actually been spread at local hospitals and medical facilities.

Recently, 20 local people got sick from measles, which can be spread easily when someone coughs.

"Sometimes the doctors are not quick to recognize that it is measles and therefore before you know it that patient has been sitting in a waiting room with 20 or 30 people around them and now they are exposed because these types of diseases are very infectious," said Dr. Manny Alvarez, Fox News Channel's managing editor for health news.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center sent an email staff members regarding the measles. The email was reportedly to help health care workers there be better able to recognize the symptoms of measles and that tell-tale bright red rash. People can be contagious before they get a rash.

This local outbreak was first detected in February when nine children and 11 adults got sick.

Childhood vaccination programs in the United States have effectively eliminated measles.

Doctors say these periodic outbreaks usually start from un-vaccinated people traveling here from foreign countries where measles is still common.

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