April 23, 2019

Measles outbreak in U.S. raises concerns over unvaccinated population

12 April 2019, 02:26 | Silvia Roy

Most cases of measles are concentrated in the ultra Orthodox Hasidic neighborhoods – in Williamsburg and Boro Park

В Нью Йорке объявили ЧП из-за вспышки кори

As NYCityLens reported, Mayor Bill De Blasio declared a public health emergency Tuesday because of the growing measles outbreak in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

"As the outbreak continues to grow and even spread to other counties in NY, the mayor has ordered that people who are unvaccinated have 48 hours to get their shots or they will be fined "$1,000 per instance". He also said schools in certain areas that permitted attendance by unvaccinated students could be fined or temporarily closed.

America's largest urban area, New York City, has taken the extraordinary move of making vaccinations mandatory for some people who may have been exposed to the measles virus in a hard-hit, predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn. The city has confirmed 285 cases of the highly contagious disease city wide, with 228 cases confirmed in Williamsburg.

The health officials will try to persuade any unvaccinated person who has been exposed to measles to get the vaccine.

"Measles is a risky, potentially deadly disease that can easily be prevented with vaccine", Dr. Herminia Palacio, deputy mayor for Health and Human Services explained.

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"Vaccines are safe and effective - and they work."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported at least 465 individual cases of measles in 19 states in the past three and a half months. There is no longer any reason to fear measles exposure at those sites, officials said.

Measles has been confirmed in eight children, ranging in age from 6 months to 14 years old, all of whom live in northern Westchester and were not vaccinated, CBS New York reports.

Authorities will carry out the order by interviewing Williamsburg residents who have been diagnosed with measles and then interviewing everyone who those people have come in contact with.

"We try always to respect religious rights, religious customs, but when it comes to public health, when we see a problem emerge, we have to deal with it aggressively", de Blasio said.

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It is a strong stance but one that the city hopes will help stem the outbreak. Complications can include hearing loss, pneumonia, swelling of the brain and death.

"Utahns don't need to panic, but rather carefully consider their vaccination status", she said, adding it isn't too late to get the vaccine.

Medical corporation Merck & Co. will decidedly face the music in the ongoing class action and related anti-trust lawsuit involving its mumps vaccine - a product routinely given to babies and children for generations. The ultra-Orthodox communities of the county are the most affected by the measles outbreak according to the New York Times.

"In order to prevent an outbreak in your community, you have to have a 97 percent herd immunity rate", Sheffield said.

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