Measles outbreak in USA raises concerns over unvaccinated population

Lawyer: Challenge to NYC's vaccination order in the works

Twisted anti-vaxxer parents are holding "measles parties" so their children catch the frequently fatal virus instead of being vaccinated. Officials said the children all appear to have been exposed to measles in Rockland County or Brooklyn. But a judge last week overturned it, saying it's not yet a clear emergency.

Measles has been confirmed in eight children, ranging in age from 6 months to 14 years old, all of whom live in northern Westchester and were not vaccinated, CBS New York reports. In 2019, there is no reason that your child should not be protected when we have at our fingertips safe and effective vaccines to prevent deadly diseases.

New York City's decision to threaten fines and legal citations against those who have not been vaccinated against measles could indirectly benefit New Jersey's immunization efforts, although experts here agreed such measures are not necessary to address the measles outbreak on this side of the Hudson River.

New York City's emergency action, which Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged was "unusual" and driven by "the sheer extent of the crisis", has seen health officials intensify their fight in the Williamsburg and Borough Park neighborhoods, which have reported more than 285 measles cases since October, compared to two in all of 2017.

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New York Times: New York City Is Requiring Vaccinations Against Measles.

A CDC report states that the US had a notifiable measles outbreak in 1912, resulting in around 6,000 deaths every year, until scientists developed the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in 1963.

However, state health officials said they are carefully watching the disease as it races through parts of the Northeast, the West Coast and the interior of the country. "And they may spread measles to people who can not get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions". Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine, or have had a lab test confirming immunity.

Authorities will carry out the order by interviewing Williamsburg residents who have been diagnosed with measles and then interviewing everyone who those people have come in contact with. They actually do know how to work with people.

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The city believes an estimated 1,800 children in Williamsburg were not immunized as of December.

The measles outbreak has highlighted the issues of municipalities forcing citizens to get vaccinated. In response, anti-vaccination protesters have begun wearing yellow stars, claiming that rules based on vaccination status are analogous to the inhumane treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.

"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. But there's no right to allow your child to infect others with a serious disease.

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