For immediate release: January 05, 2024
Contact: Health Department firstname.lastname@example.org
PHILADELPHIA—The City continues to respond to the ongoing measles outbreak in Philadelphia.
Today, the Health Department reports a total of 5 confirmed and 3 presumed cases of measles associated with this outbreak. Currently, 3 of these cases are hospitalized with measles.
The Health Department is posting regular updates on the City’s website. Check for the latest.
The Health Department announced that all City Health Centers have the MMR vaccine which can protect you from measles. Any child in Philadelphia can receive free vaccines at City Health Centers. Call Center Operators can be reached at 215-685-2933 to set up an appointment.
Philadelphia has high vaccination rates, with at least 93% of children fully vaccinated against measles by age 6. If you or your child has not yet been vaccinated, call today to get vaccinated.
“If you have not yet been vaccinated against measles or have not vaccinated your children or are 12 months or age or older, reach out to your healthcare provider to do so immediately,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole.
For a limited time, Health Center 3 (555 S 43rd St.), Health Center 4 (4400 Haverford Ave.), and Health Center 5 (1900 N 20th St.) are also offering walk-in MMR vaccinations to any Philadelphia resident, Monday through Thursday 10am -12noon and 1p-3p.
All of these vaccines are free at the City Health Centers. There is no need for an ID, just a piece of mail with your address on it will confirm your residency.
The Health Department reminds Philadelphians that vaccination is the very best way to protect yourself and your children against measles and many other diseases.
The Health Department also released the following timeline to help detail the history of this quickly evolving situation.
- Early December
- Patient presented to CHOP with an infection later identified as measles.
- During that stay, three non-immune patients were exposed and later tested positive for measles.
- December 23
- The Health Department was notified that a measles case visited a Jefferson Health building and potentially exposed people there. The City distributed a press release about that potential exposure. To date, no new cases have been reported as a result of that exposure, likely due to intensive contact tracing efforts.
- January 3
- The Health Department was notified that a measles case attended a day care facility on December 20 and 21 and exposed children and staff there. At least two additional children who attend that day care have tested positive after visiting various healthcare centers before the Health Department was notified. Both children were hospitalized due to measles infection. The City distributed a press release about the various potential exposure points the following day.
- January 5
- Three additional possible measles cases have been identified among the children attending the day care facility. The Health Department continues to work with affected healthcare facilities and the day care to identify people who may have been exposed, checking their immunization status, interviewing to learn where they have been and who they may have exposed since their own exposure, and issuing quarantine recommendations. The City started regular press releases to keep the public informed.
The Health Department is coordinating media interviews with Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. Press are instructed to submit all interview and information requests on the measles outbreak to email@example.com.
Press is not being offered access to any of the Health Centers vaccinating clinics at this time in order to preserve anonymity of patients. This may change as the response continues.
For more basic information on measles and vaccines, please see the Health Department’s blog post.
See full press release here: https://www.phila.gov/2024-01-05-health-department-update-on-measles-outbreak-january-5-2024/