RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A teenaged tourist staying at a Bergen County hotel contracted measles, and now the New Jersey State Health Department is trying to prevent an outbreak.
The 16-year-old who was travelling to the United States on vacation was treated at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey between May 13 and May 15, and authorities fear other patients may have been exposed to the highly contagious disease.
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The teen stayed at the Ramada Rochelle Park on West Passaic Street in the days leading up to that, according to authorities.
Ron Harmon has been staying at the hotel for the past three weeks while on business. He says he was never informed that he may have been exposed to the disease.
“Other than working 12 to 15 hours a day a week I’m tired,” he told CBS2’s Ali Bauman. “I don’t need more in my life, especially measles.”
The health department is now trying to contact anyone who is at risk for infection, as symptoms can take up to 21 days to show up after exposure.
“What are you going to do if you have some infant that’s never been vaccinated? There should be something posted on the front desk,” Harmon said.
“I booked it online and I think they should have told me when I booked it online,” fellow visitor John Balbo added.
Hotel management tells CBS2 that the health department just notified them yesterday.
Symptoms of measles can mimic a cold, including a high fever and runny nose — but those can be accompanied by a rash and watery eyes.
Anyone possibly infected in this case may not see symptoms until June 5th. If you think you’ve been exposed, make sure to call ahead before going into the doctor’s office or emergency room so special arrangements can be made to protect other patients and medical staff from potential infection.