World Health Organization raises alarm over 300% increase in case of measles globally

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference in Brooklyn N.Y

America's measles outbreak is hitting new heights.

Health officials on Monday said 555 measles cases have been confirmed so far this year, up from 465 as of a week ago.

In New York, the mayor has ordered the vaccination of all residents of Williamsburg, a Brooklyn neighborhood, and threatened to impose fines of $1,000 for those who don't follow the order.

This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the US since measles was deemed eliminated in 2000.

"The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated", the CDC noted.

A nurse prepares the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department in Haverstraw, N.Y., on April 5.

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Responding to the filing, the city maintained that a true outbreak exists and that "attempts at education and persuasion have failed to stop the spread of measles". Early measles symptoms of high fever, runny nose, cough and red, watery eyes typically develop 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Rockland County, meanwhile, announced new measures to combat the disease, including fines of up to $2,000 a day. They also said forcing vaccinations would put their kids at risk to harm.

Health officials alerted the ultra-Orthodox community to warn about the exposure because measles is highly infectious. As of Monday, New York City has confirmed 329 measles cases, almost all in Brooklyn, since the outbreak began in October.

The Rabbinical Council of Baltimore had in November called for adults and children to be vaccinated, and for schools to exclude children who were not vaccinated. The respected medical journal later retracted the publication. The health department is concerned more cases may occur as families gather for the upcoming Passover holiday.

Those rises were attributed to the disease spreading "fast among clusters of unvaccinated people", the United Nations agency added.

"That's something that happens, and we don't know a lot about it", Krakow said.

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The 555 tally for 2019 is the second-largest tally since measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000. It spreads so easily.

Efforts to curtail the contagion, particularly among Brooklyn's insular Hasidic enclaves, have been met with fierce resistance by parents dubious of the health effects of the measles vaccine.

In an opinion piece for CNN, WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UNICEF head Henrietta Fore said the world was "in the middle of a measles crisis" and that "the proliferation of confusing and contradictory information" about vaccines was partly to blame.

Measles was essentially eradicated in the USA by 2000, but there has been a spate of outbreaks as a result of people not vaccinating their children.

The parents claimed last week's orders violated their "children's religious exemptions" to vaccinations and their constitutional rights to due process. The state reported only one case previous year, which was imported from Georgia.

"And they all match each other identically".

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In conflict-scarred Yemen cases shot up more than 300 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.

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