BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – While the number of measles cases is growing across the country, including the more that 150 cases in Rockland County, New York, the disease is prompting concern from some local health officials.
“We all should be concerned that we are getting our children immunized, we are getting them immunized on time and we can prevent something that is happening in Rockland County here in Broome County,” said public health nurse for the Broome County Health Department, Marian Hollander. “I think we have to look at it that there is always a possible threat to, if we have groups of people who aren’t vaccinating their children. This is what could happen.”
Multiple states have now reported cases of the measles, which health officials say is extremely contagious and can even be deadly.
“It’s more deadly with children. It’s more deadly with people who are immune compromised, immune suppressed. Babies under six months old and elders and pregnant women, very dangerous to get measles,” said Hollander.
The Broome County Health Department says the chance of a measles outbreak in our area is highly unlikely.
“We have a pretty good rate of immunizations for measles here in Broome County,” said Hollander.
Officials says there is a 98 percent rate of children who are vaccinated in Broome County Public Schools, but health officials say this doesn’t mean residents should get lax when it comes to preventing the disease.
“This to me, this is a huge warning. If we don’t get our kids vaccinated. Somebody is going to die and it’s absolutely unnecessary,” said Hollander.
Hollander says education about vaccinations and getting proper vaccinations is key to preventing an outbreak in our area.
“There used to 5 million cases of measles in the United States and people used to die a lot from it and that doesn’t happen anymore and we got to make sure we keep that that way,” said Hollander.
The health department says they also provide measles vaccinations to anyone who needs one even if they do not have health insurance.
To set up an appointment, call the Broome County Health Department at (607) 778-3930.