New York City declares public health emergency amid growing measles outbreak

New York City declares public health emergency amid growing measles outbreak

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday declared a public health emergency in a heavily Orthodox Jewish section of Brooklyn amid a growing measles outbreak. As part of the declaration, people living in select zip codes of Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood who have not been vaccinated against measles and may have been exposed to the highly-contagious virus will now be required to get the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. “There’s no question that vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving, ” de Blasio said in a statement. “I urge everyone, especially those in affected areas, to get their MMR vaccines to protect their children, families and communities.” A total of 285 cases of measles have been confirmed in New York City's Orthodox Jewish community since the outbreak began last October. The vast majority of cases involved children under 18 who were not vaccinated or who had not received the required number of doses of the MMR vaccine, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Although no one has died, 21 patients have been hospitalized, including five who were admitted to an intensive care unit. (Mike Segar/Reuters, FILE) Materials left at a demonstration by people opposed to childhood ....

"This outbreak is being fueled by a small group of anti-vaxxers in these neighborhoods. They have been spreading dangerous misinformation based on fake science." (Seth Wenig/AP, FILE) A woman receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., March 27, 2019. Measles is an airborne virus that easily spreads through coughing and sneezing. It causes fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat, followed by a rash. An infected person will start being contagious four days before a rash appears and will stop being contagious four days after rash onset, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Measles is rare in the United States because of high vaccination rates, but the disease is still common in other countries. .

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