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Summer Camp and Immunizations

From the Tompkins County Health Department.

(ITHACA, NY – June 18, 2019) – Summer camp season is around the corner and the Tompkins County Health Department reminds families to protect campers from illness. Summer camps offer fun and excitement for our youth and can involve travel to other parts of the State and beyond.

Contagious diseases, such as measles, can spread easily at camp. When a person sick with measles coughs or sneezes, the virus gets into the air where it can stay for two hours. Anyone who is not immune, can get measles if they are in that area. The New York State Department of Health reports that there are over 300 confirmed cases of measles in our State outside of NYC.

Protect yourself, your family, and other campers by following these steps:

  • Know if you and your family are immune. You are immune if you: were born before 1957, have a written record of measles vaccine, or have a laboratory test showing you are immune. If you are unsure about your immunity, talk to your health care provider before camp starts.

  • If you are not immune, get vaccinated. Two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine will provide the best protection from measles.

  • Know the signs and symptoms of measles. These may include: high fever, cough, runny nose, and red/watery eyes. A rash starts 2-4 days after the fever begins. Symptoms appear about 7-14 days after exposure, but may take as long as 21 days.

  • Stay home if you are sick. Measles spreads quickly and is contagious [approximately 4 days] before the rash starts. Stay home at the first sign of fever or cough.

  • Call ahead before seeking medical care. If you think someone has measles, call before seeking medical care so the office, clinic or emergency room can take steps to prevent others from being exposed to measles.

Learn more about Measles here:


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