NYC Declares Public Health Emergency Over Measles

New York City threatens to close yeshivas over unvaccinated children

Measles outbreak: NYC threatens fines for unvaccinated Williamsburg residents

It is the first time New York City has ordered mandatory vaccinations in recent history, according to health officials.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn on Tuesday, ordering all residents to be vaccinated to contain a measles outbreak concentrated in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Michigan's current measles outbreak dates back to March 13, when the health department reported that the first case came from someone "visiting from Israel following a stay in NY".

The city's health commissioner, Dr Oxiris Barbot, said that the majority of religious leaders in Brooklyn's large Orthodox communities support vaccination efforts, but that rates have remained low in some areas because of resistance from some groups that believe the inoculations are risky.

The order concerns all people living or working in four zip codes of Williamsburg, northwest Brooklyn, where some residents oppose vaccines on religious grounds - although neither Jewish texts, nor local Jewish authorities advise against vaccination. "They have been spreading risky misinformation based on fake science", Barbot said. Most of these measles cases were unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated individuals. "You literally need to track down every single person that person came in contact with".

There have been no deaths associated with this outbreak, although there have been complications, including 21 hospitalizations and five admissions to the intensive care unit.

She also urged parents to avoid the practice of "measles parties", which she said has contributed to the outbreak.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children get two doses of measles vaccine.

"We have a situation now where children are in danger". Officials in New York City were no different in their blame. Those who are uninsured will pay what they can afford, de Blasio said, and those who cannot afford the vaccination will receive it free.

The Health Department order also mandates that parents vaccinate children who are six months of age or older unless the parent or guardian can prove the child is immune to the disease or should be "medically exempt from this requirement".

"They have been spreading unsafe misinformation based on fake science", Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the city' health commissioner, said in a statement. "The measles vaccine works".

"The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective", the CDC said.

The United States measles vaccination program began in 1963.

The announcement comes a day after DOH threatened to close Williamsburg yeshivas that allow unvaccinated students to attend school in light of the epidemic. "The Department of Health will issue violations and fines to people who remain unvaccinated".

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