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CDC: New Jersey Infant Did Have Measles, First Case In State

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- An infant in New Jersey is the state's first recent case of measles, part of an outbreak affecting 15 states so far.

Health Officials confirm a 1-year-old child, who has recovered, had the highly contagious virus, CBS2's Andrea Grymes reported Friday night.

They say the child had not yet been vaccinated. The first measles vaccine is usually given to children between 12 and 15 months old.

The Centers for Disease Control says it has confirmed more than 100 measles cases in 14 states in this latest outbreak, most linked to an outbreak at Disneyland in California.

New York has three confirmed cases of measles. Most recently, a Bard College student infected with the illness traveled through Penn Station on an Amtrak train.

A daycare center 30 miles outside of Chicago is another one of the newest hotspots. Doctors have diagnosed at least five children, all under the age of one, with measles.

The nationwide outbreak has reignited the debate over childhood vaccinations with many lawmakers speaking out, like Gov. Chris Christie earlier this week.

"All I can say is that we vaccinated ours. That's the best expression I can give you of my opinion," he said. "But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things."

Christie's office later clarified his comments, saying "There is no question kids should be vaccinated."

Health Officials Insist Measles Vaccine Is Safe, Effective

The CDC says the majority of people in recent cases did not get vaccinated or do not know if they've been vaccinated.  Health officials, including Dr. Robert Perello, say the vaccine is safe and highly effective.

Perello treated a measles patient 25 years ago.

"Had convulsions, encephalitis and the kid died, and it was a miserable death," Perello told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell.

Health Officials Investigating Suspected Measles Case In Jersey City

Dr. Julia Piwoz, chief of pediatric diseases at Hackensack University Medical Center's Children's Hospital, told WCBS 8808's the vaccine is not given to anyone with poor immune systems or babies under a year old.

Measles can spread through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red watery eyes.

Health officials have not released the exact location of where the child in Jersey City lives, but say neighbors in the baby's building have been notified out of an abundance of caution.

They say the latest time a person could become sick due to measles exposure in this case would be Saturday.

Reaction to the news in Jersey City was mixed.

Parent Milagros Cintron said she's concerned even though her son has the measles vaccine.

"I'm afraid for him," Cintron said. "There's a lot of concern because you can get it from other children, it's easily passed on."

"It's very concerning because you got younger kids coming up and if they don't have the proper vaccination, they can be easily infected," resident Quashawn Tatum said.

"My thoughts go out to the family, but I'm not overly concerned about it," resident Tani Mills said.

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