Dr Jeffrey Dick of Kindercare Pediatrics in Williamsburg said his practice had seen at least a dozen measles cases in recent months, but also an uptick in families seeking vaccinations as worry about the outbreak spread. Anyone who resists could be fined up to $1,000. 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".
NY accounted for about two-thirds of all measles cases reported last week in the United States. Twenty-one people have been hospitalized, with five ending up in the intensive care unit, but there have been no deaths.
As The Washington Post's Frances Stead Sellers reported, government pushes for inoculations and the barring of unvaccinated children from public spaces have prompted a backlash among anti-vaccination activists, whose misinformation campaigns have led to declines in immunizations against one of the world's most contagious diseases.
Of the 285 confirmed cases, 246 are children and 39 are adults.
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. "They have been spreading unsafe misinformation based on fake science", Barbot said. "We stand with the majority of people in this community who have worked hard to protect their children and those at risk". Measles is easily preventable with the safe and effective MMR vaccine.
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Barbot said that the majority of religious leaders in the large Orthodox communities support vaccination efforts, but that rates have remained low in some areas because of a resistance "fueled by a small group of anti-vaxxers in these neighborhoods". Newborns, pregnant individuals, and those with weakened immune systems can not get vaccinated, so it is important that everyone around them be vaccinated in order to protect them from contracting the virus and prevent severe complications in these susceptible populations.
That's the point of vaccines - safe ways of making people immune to infections with limited side effects.
Across the United States, there have been 465 measles cases since the start of 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday.
Israel, for instance, also has a current measles outbreak. The CDC says 9 out of 10 people who are exposed to someone with measles will become infected, though they might not know for up to six days.
"In January, one yeshiva in Williamsburg fell out of compliance with the Department's exclusion mandate, allowing unvaccinated children back into school or daycare", the Health Department said in a news release.
It said the vaccine was 97 per cent effective.