The outbreak of the measles that started in Rockland County has spread to Orange County. In a statement released today by the Orange County Health Department, six cases of the highly contagious disease have been confirmed in the county.

Three of the six cases have been confirmed in children who attend school in the county. The Health Department is working closely with the affected school(s) and the individuals have been notified. Unvaccinated or under-vaccinated persons have been excluded from school because of the contagious nature of the measles. The disease is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people.

According to the statement from the health department "the single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated!"

To help prevent the outbreak from spreading, the Orange County Health Department will be holding a free vaccination clinic to administer the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine to non-immune individuals twelve months and older. The vaccinations will be given on the second floor of 124 Main Street in Goshen on Friday, December 21 from 9 AM - 11 AM. Participants need to register at www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/36.

Symptoms of the measles include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis and/or runny nose.  Symptoms usually appear ten to twelve days after exposure but may appear as early as seven days but might take as long as twenty-one days. Persons who become ill should contact their primary care provider or the Orange County Department of Health immediately.