New York City declares public health emergency amid growing measles outbreak

12 April, 2019, 11:29 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • New York City threatens to close yeshivas over unvaccinated children

Speaking at a press briefing on the emergency declaration, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said people who remain unvaccinated in the affected area will face fines.

We can not allow this risky disease to make a comeback in New York City.

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio echoed de Blasio's comments citing the safety and effectiveness of the MMR vaccine.

City Hall declared a state of emergency Tuesday as it contends with a recent outbreak of measles centered in Brooklyn. "We can stop this".

His county, which has sizeable Orthodox Jewish communities with close ties to Brooklyn, has logged 168 measles cases since last fall.

Although there have been no confirmed deaths so far, 21 people have been taken to hospital and five have been admitted to intensive care, officials said.

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

Once a common childhood disease, measles has been drastically reduced over the decades through immunizations, which the medical profession generally considers safe, effective and critically important. "The faster everyone heeds the order, the faster we can lift it".

Preventing the spread of measles requires about 95 percent of a population to be properly vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, usually starting with the first dose at 12 months through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years old. Violators could face a fine of $1,000, officials said. Now the question is how officials intend to enforce that demand.

"I think it's unfortunate in this day and age that people are still that uneducated and fearful when it comes to vaccinations", Jasey said Wednesday.

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Anti-vaxxers have been specifically targeting the Orthodox Jewish community with misinformation.

Dr. Bissasor-McKenzie told RJR News that local health teams are on the lookout, given the high number of travelers from the U.S. to Jamaica.

"There is no religious exemption on measles", Gary Schlesinger, CEO of Parcare Community Health Network, told WLNY.

At the conference, Health Commissioner Barbot said they had received reports of measles parties, events where parents intentionally expose their healthy children to a measles-infected person.

What else did officials say?

"But as a doctor, a public health practitioner, and a mom, I must warn you that exposing your unvaccinated child to measles is very risky, and it could even be deadly". Although it has high overall vaccination rates, there are some groups with vaccine hesitancy, public health legal experts said. "As Passover is coming up, it's important that all New Yorkers get vaccinated especially if they plan to travel overseas to Europe or Israel". "This is a public health emergency".

"There's nothing in Talmudic law that prohibits vaccination", said Barbot.

There have been 285 cases in the area since 30 September. "There's always going to be fresh victims for this virus to find", he said. Without elaborating on the means, de Blasio promised help would be available for those who needed it. "They have been spreading risky misinformation based on fake science", Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said in statement.

"There are many more individuals who are living with chronic diseases, who are surviving cancer, and so we don't want children or adults to be unnecessarily exposed to measles".

Health officials may forcibly inject residents of Williamsburg, Brooklyn who flout a mandatory vaccination order, a City Hall spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.



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