NY mandates vaccinations to contain measles

Measles epidemic spreads to Westchester — 8 unvaccinated kids contract disease

New York's mayor declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn on Tuesday, ordering all residents to be vaccinated to fight a measles outbreak concentrated in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

He also represents parents in Rockland County, a New York City suburb with a large Orthodox Jewish community, who challenged a local government executive order barring unvaccinated children from indoor public spaces.

"We can not allow this unsafe disease to make a comeback here in New York City", Mayor Bill de Blasio, D, said Tuesday.

A lawyer is poised to file a lawsuit challenging the order this week. Such a health order is rare but not unheard-of in American history, medical experts said.

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

Officials from the Department of Health say it will impose fines of up to $1,000 on those who have not received the vaccine.

"With the number of cases in the country right now, I'd be surprised if we don't eventually get some", said Shawn Kiernan, senior epidemiologist with Fairfax County's communicative diseases division.

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. Although it would be easy to take this as a one-off, there have already been six outbreaks of measles in the U.S.in the last three months according to the CDC.

The spreading anti-vaccination movement has contributed to 285 confirmed cases, including 21 requiring hospitalization, since the outbreak began this fall.

Avi called Bill de Blasio an anti-semite, and stressed that measles outbreak wasn't affecting that many people. In the last few months, the Williamsburg area has reported 300 new cases of measles. We will use it prudently, we will use it with restraint, but we will use it to protect the public health of Westchester people. "And for decades that vaccine policy has been largely effective".

"Our goal is to get people vaccinated", he said.

"There is an element of anti-vaccine supporters and sympathizers who do not want to get shots". Unvaccinated individuals living in four ZIP codes who may have been exposed to measles will be required to receive the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine in order. "You have a larger pool of babies". Miriam's daughter doesn't want to vaccinate her children, she said, because she is anxious about the vaccines affecting brain function.

When a case is reported, Kiernan said, public health departments work together to confirm it is measles and then interview the patient to determine where they have traveled while infectious. "I don't think they should be getting fined, I think another penalty should be given", said Charlette Hamlin, 36, who is in favor of vaccinations for all.

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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