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NYC Health Department Investigating Measles Outbreak

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The New York City Department of Health is warning residents about a measles outbreak after 16 confirmed cases in northern Manhattan and the Bronx.

The outbreaks happened in Inwood Hill Park, Washington Heights and Hudson Heights in Manhattan and in the Melrose and Mount Hope neighborhoods in the Bronx.

NYC Health Department Investigating Measles Outbreak

The health department said seven adults and nine children have been diagnosed to date and four people have been hospitalized.

"Of the cases that have occurred in kids, most of them have been in kids that were too young to be vaccinated," Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Jay Varma told WCBS 880. "But we've also seen two cases that have occurred in people whose parents refused to have their children be vaccinated."

Over in Inwood, many residents were just hearing about the measles outbreak, 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reported.

"How come they don't put out like, cell phone text advisories?" one resident asked.

Parents at nearby P.S. 189 on Amsterdam Avenue also expressed concern.

"I didn't know about that, but I keep my kids vaccinated so that's good to know," said Maria, who has children who go to the school.

NYC Health Department Investigating Measles Outbreak

Measles is a very contagious viral infection. Symptoms typically include a rash and high fever along with a cough, red eyes and runny nose and usually lasts five to six days, according to health officials.

The illness usually begins with a rash on the face and then moves down the body and may include the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Health officials said they are working with hospitals to prevent exposure in emergency rooms and are urging New Yorkers to make sure all household members, including young children, are vaccinated.

"If you are a parent and you have a child who is eligible for the measles vaccine, that means they're at least 1 year of age or older, you should make sure they get vaccinated immediately," Varma said.

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