Health Department

8/16/19 UPDATE: Wyoming County Department of Health Measles Investigation 

No additional cases of measles have been reported in Wyoming County. Monitoring is ongoing, additional updates will be provided as new information becomes available.

Joint Statement from New York State Department of Health and Wyoming County Department of Health: Measles Investigation

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 8, 2019) -- The New York State Department of Health, working closely with the Wyoming County Health Department, has confirmed five cases of measles within a local Mennonite community. The state and county health departments are working to determine whether there were additional exposures and to advise people who may have experienced symptoms consistent with measles to contact Wyoming County Department of Health or their health care provider. Wyoming County health officials are actively engaging the Mennonite community to discuss the importance of getting vaccinated to prevent the spread of measles. Additionally, the state Department of Health has issued a health advisory to regional health care providers to notify them of the cases and potential for exposure. Health care providers should report all suspected cases of measles to their local health department. Please contact the Wyoming County Department of Health for more information.

About Measles:

  • The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals should receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be fully protected. If a person is unsure if they are immune, they should contact their health care provider.
  • In New York State, measles immunization is required of children enrolled in schools, daycare, and pre-kindergarten. Since August 1990, college students have also been required to demonstrate immunity against measles.
  • A new requirement Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law in June ended all non-medical exemptions for vaccines required for children to attend all public, private and parochial schools, as well as childcare programs.
  • Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have had measles disease, or have a lab test confirming immunity. Individuals who are not immune to measles and are exposed are at risk for developing measles.
  • Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people. People first develop a fever, then may have a cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by appearance of a rash. People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.
  • Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days after exposure.
  • More information about measles can be found at:

Measles fact sheet

What is measles?

Measles is a serious respiratory disease that causes a rash and fever. It is very contagious. You can catch  it just by being  in a room where  someone with measles coughed or sneezed.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms  usually appear about  10 to 12 days after a person is exposed to measles. The first symptoms are usually:

•  High fever

•  Cough

•  Runny nose

•  Red watery eyes

•  Rash

•  Small red spots,  some  of which are slightly raised.

•  Spots  and bumps  in tight clusters give the skin a splotchy  red appearance.

•  Usually appears 2 to 4 days after the fever begins and lasts 5 to 6 days.

•  Begins at the hairline, moves  to the face and neck, down the body and then to the arms and legs.

What are the complications of measles?

A small number of people who get measles will need to be hospitalized and could die. Many people with measles have complications such as diarrhea, ear infections  or pneumonia. They can also get a brain infection that can lead to permanent brain damage. Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of early labor, miscarriage and low birth weight infants. Measles can be more severe in people with weak immune systems.

How long is a person with measles contagious?

A person with measles can pass  it to others from 4 days before a rash appears through the 4th day after the rash appears.

Is there a treatment for measles?

There is no treatment but acetaminophen and ibuprofen may be taken  to reduce a fever. People with measles also need bed  rest and fluids. They also may need treatment for complications such as diarrhea, an ear infection or pneumonia.

If my child or another family member has been  exposed to measles, what should I do?

Immediately  call your local health  department, doctor  or clinic for advice.  Never been vaccinated? Get the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine  within 3 days of being  exposed. This may prevent you from getting  measles. Some  people may need an immune globulin shot -- antibodies to the measles virus. It should  be given within 6 days of being  exposed. This may prevent or lessen the severity  of measles.

 What is the best way to prevent measles?

Getting the measles vaccine is the best  way to prevent measles.

•  You are considered immune to measles if you have  written proof of 2 valid doses of MMR vaccine,  or other  live, measles-containing vaccine.

•  You are also considered immune to measles if you have  a written lab report  of immunity, or you were born before 1957.

•  Anyone who lacks proof of measles immunity, as defined above, should  receive at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Two doses of MMR vaccine  are recommended for some  groups of adults. This includes  health  care  personnel, college students, and international travelers.  The doses should  be given at least 28 days apart.

We recommend that all children get the Measles, Mumps and  Rubella (MMR) Vaccine.

•  Children should  get their first MMR shot at 12 through 15 months  old (as soon  as possible within this time period). The second dose may be given as soon  as one month after the first dose. But it is usually given between 4 and 6 years of age.

•  An early dose of MMR vaccine  is recommended for children 6-11 months  of age  who will be traveling internationally.  These children will still need the 2 routine doses given at 12-15 months  and 4-6 years of age  to ensure protection. They will receive a total of 3 MMR vaccines.

What are the MMR vaccine  requirements  for school  attendance?

•  For pre-kindergarten including day care, Head  Start or nursery  school: one dose of MMR vaccine

•  Kindergarten to grade 12: two doses of MMR vaccine

•  College: two doses of MMR vaccine

What should I do if I’m not sure I was vaccinated against  measles?

Check with your health  care  provider.  If you were born before 1957 it’s likely that you have  been exposed to the virus and are immune. If you were born between 1957 and 1971, the vaccine  you received may not have  been as reliable. Ask your doctor  if you’ve been properly vaccinated.

What should I or my family members  do to prevent measles if we are traveling out of the country?

Measles is still common  in many other  countries. Make sure that you and your children are fully vaccinated before traveling out of the U.S.

•  Children, adults and adolescents should  have  two doses of MMR vaccine,  at least 28 days apart.

•  An early dose of MMR vaccine  is recommended for children 6-12 months  of age  who will be traveling internationally. This dose does not count as part of the routine  doses given at 12-15 months  and 4-6 years  of age.  These children will need a total of 3 MMR vaccinations.

Travel and measles:

Learn more about measles:

How can I find out about measles outbreaks?

For more information about vaccine-preventable diseases:

To download the "Measles Fact Sheet" Click here.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Measles


Q1.1:  How contagious is measles?

A1.1:   Measles is very contagious. If you are not immune, you can catch it just by being in a room where a person with measles has been. Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, even up to two hours after that person has left.  You can catch it from an infected person even before they have a rash or other symptoms – from four days before they develop the measles rash through four days afterward.

Getting the measles vaccine is the best way to prevent measles.

Q1.2:  What should I do if I think I or my child has measles?

A1.2:   Stay home and call your health care provider right away. If you have measles, you could spread it to others who are not immune. That’s why it’s best to call your health care provider or emergency room before going to them. They can tell you the best way to get checked without infecting others.

Tell your health care provider if you, or your child, spent time with other people in the days before or after the measles rash began. These people may be at risk of getting measles themselves. Their health care providers or local health department might offer them a vaccine or immunoglobulin (IG) to help prevent them from getting measles.

Q1.3:  We have someone infected with measles at home. Can we be around others? 

A1.3: No. People who are sick with the measles need to stay home until they are no longer contagious. Their close family members are also at risk of getting measles if they are not already immune to it. They should also stay home for up to 21 days after they were exposed to measles. A person can spread measles to others even before they begin to feel sick.

If you have measles in your house, please talk to your health care provider or the local health department as soon as possible. They will tell you how long you and your family members should stay home and what to do if anyone else gets sick.

Q1.4:  My child is younger than 6 months. How can I protect them from getting measles? 

A1.4:  Babies under 6 months are too young for the measles vaccine. But you can protect them by making sure everyone who lives in or visits your home is vaccinated. Avoid people who are sick with measles. Talk to your health care provider. Your child may benefit from immunoglobulin (IG), if they have been around someone who had measles.

Q1.5:  If my children were excluded from school, can they still spend time with other children who were excluded?

A1.5:  No, your children should stay home and away from other people for 21 days after the day they were last exposed to measles. They are at risk of getting sick and could spread measles even before they being to feel sick.


Q2.1:  How well does the measles vaccine work?

A2.1:   The measles vaccine works very well. Two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine are about 97% effective at protecting against measles. On the rare occasions that fully vaccinated people get the measles, they usually have a milder illness and are less likely to spread it to other people.

Q2.2:  At what age can a child get the MMR vaccine?

A2.2:   Most children receive their first MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old. The second dose is usually given between 4 and 6 years of age, but it may safely be given as soon as 28 days after the first dose.

Infants 6 to 11 months of age should get their first dose of MMR vaccine during a measles outbreak or before traveling overseas. They will still need a second dose given at 12 to 15 months and a third dose at 4 to 6 years of age to ensure protection and to meet school requirements.

Q2.3:  Why is a second dose of MMR needed?

A2.3:   A small number of people do not become immune to measles after their first dose. The second dose ensures as many people as possible are protected.

Q2.4:  My child had measles. Does he or she still need the MMR vaccine?

A2.4:   Yes. The MMR vaccine will protect them against two other diseases, mumps and rubella.

Q2.5:  Is it safe for a baby to get the first dose of the MMR vaccine before 12 months of age?

A2.5:   Yes, the MMR vaccine is safe for babies as young as 6 months of age. However, they will need to get two additional doses after their first birthday for full protection and to meet school requirements.

Q2.6:  Is it safe for a child to get the second dose of the MMR vaccine before 4 years of age?

A2.6:  Yes. The second dose may be safely given as soon as 28 days after the first dose.

Q2.7:  What are the side effects of the MMR vaccine?

A2.7:   The most common side effects are a mild fever, a rash, soreness or swelling where the shot was given, or temporary pain and stiffness in the joints

Severe allergic reactions to the MMR vaccine are rare. Do not get the MMR vaccine if you’ve had an allergic reaction after an earlier dose or are allergic to a part of the vaccine such as neomycin.

 Q2.8:  What should I do if I think my child is having an allergic reaction to the MMR vaccine?

A2.8:   Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. Allergic reactions to vaccines are very rare. Reactions can happen from few minutes to a few hours after a person gets a vaccine.

Q2.9:  Who cannot get the MMR vaccine?

A2.9:  People should not get the MMR vaccine if they:

-ever had a severe allergy to the MMR vaccine, or to a part of the vaccine such as neomycin,

-have a weak immune system, either from a disease or a medical treatment, or

-are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

Children who are less than 6 months of age are too young to receive the MMR vaccine. Talk to your health care provider if you are sick, have recently received blood products or immune globulin (IG), or have a bleeding disorder.

Q2.10: What are the ingredients in the MMR vaccine?

A2.10: The MMR vaccine package insert, which lists the vaccine ingredients, is available online at For more information about vaccine ingredients, you can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at:

Q2.11: I have an allergy to eggs. Can I still get the MMR vaccine?

A2.11: Yes. People who are allergic to eggs may get the MMR vaccine. They do not need a skin test first.

Q2.12: I have had two doses of measles vaccine. Do I need to check and see if I have immunity?

A2.12: If you have a written vaccine record that shows you received two doses of MMR or another vaccine that contains measles, then you have evidence of measles immunity. You do not need testing to confirm this.

If you think you were vaccinated but you do not have a record of it, talk to your health care provider. Your health care provider may recommend a blood test to prove your immunity or recommend another dose of the MMR vaccine.

Q2.13: Will doses of MMR vaccine given before the first birthday count for the school immunization requirements?

A2.13: No. Babies given the MMR vaccine before their first birthday will need a second dose on or after the first birthday, and a third dose at least 28 days after the first dose to meet school requirements.

Q2.14: Can the measles vaccine give you the measles?

A2.14: No. You cannot get the measles from the MMR vaccine. If you get the measles soon after the vaccine, it means you were likely exposed to the measles before you were vaccinated. But because you had the vaccine, your illness will likely be milder. A few people develop a measles-like rash after being vaccinated, but this type of rash is much milder than measles and cannot be spread to other people.

Q2.15: Can you get the measles from someone who recently got the MMR vaccine? 

A2.15: No. The weakened viruses in the MMR vaccine cannot be spread from person-to-person.

Q2.16: Can I get just the measles vaccine? Do I have to get MMR?

A2.16: There is no vaccine available in the United States that only protects against measles.

The MMR vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from measles. It also provides protection against both mumps and rubella.

Q2.17: My child is sick with a cold. Can she get the MMR vaccine?

A2.17: People who are sick with mild illnesses such as a cold may safely get vaccines. Let your health care provider know if your child is more seriously ill.

Q2.18: Why are people born before 1957 considered immune to measles?

A2.18: People born in the United States before 1957 lived at time when measles was very common. They are very likely to have had measles previously. If someone is not sure whether they ever had measles or the vaccine, they should speak with their health care provider about possibly being vaccinated.


Q3.1:  What is Immune Globulin (IG)?

A3.1:   IG is a medication that can help prevent measles or make the illness milder. IG is for people who have recently been exposed to measles, and:

-cannot get the MMR vaccine for medical reasons,

-are pregnant, or

-are younger than 12 months old.

IG must be given within six days of being exposed to measles in order for it to be helpful.

Q3.2:  What are the side effects of Immune Globulin (IG)?

A3.2:   Most people have no side effects to IG. When they do occur, they are usually mild and may include swelling, redness, pain, itching, fatigue, nausea or headache. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) are rare.  Blood clots may occur with immune globulin treatment but this is also rare.

Q3.3:  Who cannot get IG?

A3.3:   You shouldn’t get IG if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction IG or if you have certain antibody deficiencies such as immunoglobulin A deficiency.

Q3.4:  Can people who were given IG also get the MMR vaccine?

A3.4:   People who receive IG need to wait at least six months to get an MMR vaccine or another live vaccine such as varicella vaccine. This is because the antibodies in IG may interfere with your body’s response to later doses of live vaccines. Talk to your health care provider for details.

To download "Frequently Asked Questions" Click here.

Immunization Awareness Month

August, National Immunization Awareness Month raises awareness and encourages everyone to make sure they are current on the necessary vaccinations for potentially harmful diseases. Many diseases can be easily prevented by administering vaccines, and thus, protecting you from unseen viruses. Take the necessary precautions with a simple call to your doctor, and avoid potential harm while leading a healthy, happy life.

Beat the heat and sun!

Heat-related illness happens when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at greatest risk. Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. For heat-related illness, the best defense is prevention.

  • Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
  • Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully, for morning and evening hours.children playing on a swing
  • Stay cool with cool showers or baths.
  • Seek medical care immediate if your child has symptoms of heat-related illness.

Just a few serious sunburns can increase you and your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Their skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they’re outdoors.

  • Cover up. Clothing that covers your and your child’s skin helps protect against UV rays.
  • Use sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 and UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) protection every time you and your child go outside.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease and several other devastating tick-borne diseases are on the rise in New York due to an increase in the prevalence of ticks and human-tick encounters. The best way to prevent tickborne diseases is to prevent tick bites. In New York State, tickborne illnesses are most often transmitted between early spring and late fall since ticks are

most active during warm months.

Avoiding contact with ticks and treating clothing and gear are some ways to be proactive when heading outdoors. Once you come in examine yourself, children and pets for ticks and take a shower. If you find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic—the key is to remove the tick as soon as possible.See the source image

Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

They Wyoming County Health Department is offering free tick removal kits to residents until they run out.  Each kit contains precision tweezers, a small magnifying lens, antiseptic pads and an identification card with information about deer ticks and ways to prevent Lyme disease, which the ticks transmit.

 Residents interested in receiving a tick kit can contact the Health Department or stop in, 5362 Mungers Mill Rd. Silver Springs Monday-Friday 8:00am- 4:30pm.

State Septic System Replacement Program

The Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 (L. 2017, c. 57, Part T) established the Septic System Replacement Fund to provide a source of funding for the replacement of cesspools and septic systems in New York State. This grant program (the “Program”) seeks to reduce the environmental and public-health impacts associated with the discharge of effluent from cesspools and septic systems on groundwater used as drinking water, as well as threatened or impaired waterbodies. Silver Lake and Java Lake have been identified as threatened or impaired waterbodies in Wyoming County. Click here to see a complete program summary.

If your property is located next to one of the identified waterbodies and you wish to participate in this program, please complete the online grant application.

Pay Your Environmental Health Related Fees & Invoices Online

In addition to paying your Environmental Health related charges by check, you now have the option to pay online with a credit or debit card using GovPayNet. For this service a small processing fee will be added to your transaction. If you would like more information please review GovPayNet Fee Schedule and GovPayNet Terms of Service prior to paying.