Health

NYC orders mandatory vaccines for some amid measles outbreak

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"Since then, there have been additional people from Brooklyn and Queens who were unvaccinated and acquired measles while in Israel", according to the city's health department. "We saw only two cases in New York City in 2017, so we have a very serious situation on our hands". "Vaccinate." De Blasio said the outbreak "can be turned around quickly" if residents act quickly. "We'd have to confer with our legal team", Miranda said. "We've seen a large increase in the number of people vaccinated in these neighbourhoods, but as Passover approaches, we need to do all we can to ensure more people get the vaccine".

In declaring a public health emergency, Commissioner of Health Dr. Oxiris Barbot said the number of cases diagnosed within certain zip codes of Williamsburg "continues to grow as new cases are still occurring" and that he deemed this to be an "existing threat to public health in the City of NY".

So far, there have been 285 cases of measles in the outbreak, 246 of which were in children.

"It's crucial for people to understand the measles vaccine works", de Blasio continued. It is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested. "It is time tested".

In New York City late previous year, the health department ordered yeshivas and child-care centers in the Orthodox Jewish community to bar unvaccinated students.

Like most American states - all but three, including California - New York requires a series of vaccinations for school-age children but has until now granted exemptions on both medical and religious grounds.

Overall vaccination rates remain high, but the percentage of kids under 2 who haven't gotten their shots is growing, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The reasons for the explosion of cases among members of insular, ultra-orthodox communities has more to do with their frequent contacts with Israel, which is undergoing its own measles crisis, combined with their insularity and mistrust of government.

The city today declared a public health emergency in Williamsburg that has been struggling to contain a measles outbreak within the Orthodox Jewish community.

What else did officials say?

Mayor Bill de Blasio said individuals and parents who ignore the order will be fined up to $1,000 and that "disease detectives" would question them.

"As a pediatrician, I know the MMR vaccine is safe and effective". Non-immune pregnant women are at particular risk, she said.

"I want to set the record straight". Others remain convinced, against expert assurances, that vaccines are unsafe. "This vaccine not only protects your child but it protects other people's children", she added.

"This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately", de Blasio.

What about the nationwide outbreak?

The Associated Press reports that this is the largest measles outbreak in the city since 1991, and that NYC accounts for two-thirds of all cases reported in the US last week. In 2018, there were 56 instances and there have been more than 225 cases already this year.

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