With Measles Outbreaks, A Deadly But Preventable Disease Returns

A nurse prepares the measles mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department recently

NYC Declares Public Health Emergency over Measles Outbreak

Lawyer Michael Sussman said Wednesday that the city overreached its authority by threatening to fine residents of four Brooklyn ZIP codes if they refuse to have their children vaccinated.

Dr Oxiris Barbot, the New York City health commissioner, said there had been reports of "measles parties" in the area in which parents deliberately expose their children to measles so that they become naturally immune after contracting the virus.

Last week saw a minor victory for vaccination advocates amid the United States' ongoing measles outbreak: A Kentucky judge ruled against a lawsuit filed by 18-year-old Jerome Kunkel against the Northern Kentucky Health Department, claiming the department had discriminated against Kunkel by asking schools to exclude students not vaccinated for chicken pox from school and extracurricular activities. Mayor Bill de Blasio says he's confident that New York City's vaccination order would survive any legal challenge. Such a health order is rare but not unheard-of in American history, medical experts said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the unusual order amid what he said was a measles crisis in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section, where more than 250 people have gotten measles since September. The cases, mostly located in Brooklyn, finally prompted the government to require unvaccinated individuals to receive the vaccine immediately, otherwise they would be fined $1,000 for refusing.

Health officials have made robocalls urging vaccination to more than 30,000 Williamsburg households and have stocked health care providers in the community with an ample supply of vaccine, Palacio said.

The NYC Health Department recently issued an order banning all unvaccinated members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg from entering yeshivas and day care programs.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn is in the midst of the country's largest measles outbreak-but residents are still split on what should be done.

Since October, however, 285 cases of measles have been confirmed in New York City, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "We've seen a large increase in the number of people vaccinated in these neighborhoods, but as Passover approaches, we need to do all we can to ensure more people get the vaccine".

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"This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the USA since measles was eliminated in 2000", it said. "Our goal is to get people vaccinated". "We have to protect our kids and our families", de Blasio said.

"There is an element of anti-vaccine supporters and sympathizers who do not want to get shots".

City officials said that insured adults and children will be covered.

Despite people's religious or philosophical objections to vaccinations, Latimer said, the science is clear.

By the time the vaccines were administered, the measles outbreak in Philadelphia was subsiding - after nine children had died, including six from Faith Tabernacle.

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