New York declares measles emergency, blasts misinformation fueling outbreak

New York declares measles emergency, blasts misinformation fueling outbreak

New York City's health commissioner has declared a public health emergency over a major measles outbreak in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, with 250 cases documented in the area since September 2018.

The city's largest outbreak since 1991 of the once virtually eradicated virus has mainly been confined to the Orthodox Jewish community in the borough's Williamsburg neighborhood, with 285 cases confirmed since October, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference.

Residents living in the Williamsburg zip codes of 11205, 11206, 11211, and 11249 must be vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella or they face the possibility of fines that can reach up to $1000. People who ignore the order could be fined $1,000.

The outbreak has mostly occurred within the Orthodox Jewish community where some parents have opted out of vaccinating their children citing religious reasons. All but 39 of the confirmed cases are in children.

Government pushes for inoculations and public space bans of unvaccinated children have prompted a backlash among anti-vaccination activists, whose misinformation campaigns have led to declines for vaccinations against one of the world's most contagious diseases.

The outbreak is part of a broader resurgence in the United States, with 465 cases reported in 19 states so far this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NY accounted for about two-thirds of all measles cases reported last week in the United States. Of those cases, at least 21 ended up hospitalized, WLNY reported.

New York City accounted for about two-thirds of all us measles cases reported last week, according to the Associated Press.

The health commissioner issued a mandate that yeshivas must keep unvaccinated children out of school. Once people have become infected by measles, their bodies build up their immune systems to prevent new inflections.

That order was overturned by a state judge on Friday, local media reported. She added that the city will help unprotected individuals secure affordable and accessible vaccination, and emphasized that vaccination is safe and effective.

The CDC has said that in the decade before 1963 when a vaccine became available, almost all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age and that an estimated 3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected each year.

Related Articles