NYC Declares Public Health Emergency over Measles Outbreak


Jewish children get off a Yeshiva school bus in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, on Tuesday. The ultra-Orthodox communities of the county are the most affected by the measles outbreak according to the New York Times.

The new cases were reported a day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced mandatory MMR vaccinations for everyone living in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood - in one of the toughest measures against an outbreak in United States history.

Junior biology major Caleb Gruber said, for him, appreciating the ability to practice advanced medicine and create vaccines is an expression of faith. It is safe. It is effective. This is a disease that killed 110,000 people worldwide in 2017, and is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in the world. Those personal rights, however, at some point in time cross over and impact the rights of others. But a judge last week overturned it, saying it's not yet a clear emergency.

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Meanwhile, the Orange County Health Department said a New York City resident with confirmed measles visited Woodbury Common on March 31. When anti-vaccination resistance raises the danger level this high, authorities must take all necessary steps to safeguard public health. "And the reason the city government is empowered in a public health emergency is to save lives". People can spread measles before they even know they are sick.

Coffey added that, while it is important to accept others' opinions and let them make their own choices, people should be informed of the health risks associated with remaining unvaccinated. "They have experience gaining people's trust". The news was good: Measles declined worldwide by almost 80 percent between 2000 and 2016, with fatalities - mostly among children younger than age 5 - plummeting to about 90,000 per year from about 550,000.

"As the outbreak continues to grow and even spread to other counties in NY, the mayor has ordered that people who are unvaccinated have 48 hours to get their shots or they will be fined "$1,000 per instance".

"Our goal is not to fine anyone", de Blasio said. It seems the only way to get the most stubborn parents to vaccinate their children is through the legal system.

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The notice said the university was "working to alert those students who have not submitted proper records".

It is a strong stance but one that the city hopes will help stem the outbreak.

This outbreak is a result of mistrust amongst the residents which did not believe in providing vaccine to the children.

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

But Begun said a larger number may delay the first measles-mumps-rubella vaccine until 2 years of age instead of the recommended 1 year, vastly increasing the number of unvaccinated children who can be infected. And so they're subjecting their children to a painful illness with high fevers and rash that has already hospitalized 10 percent of those who've contracted it in NY, including five who were serious enough to need intensive care.

"Parents should definitely vaccinate their kids", Fuel said in Spanish, as she stood on the corner of Havemeyer and Division Street.

Since October, Rockland County has experienced a measles outbreak of more than 160 confirmed cases. Measles is so contagious that 90 percent of all unvaccinated children and adults who come in contact with an infected person will contract the virus.