Eight measles cases reported in New York's Westchester County
Westchester borders Rockland County, where measles cases have been concentrated among members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said people in affected areas will face fines of up to $1,000 if they fail to get vaccinated or vaccinate their children.
Westchester County neighbors Rockland County, where 168 people have contracted measles, prompting schools to temporarily ban unvaccinated children. A state judge sided with the parents and issued a preliminary injunction against the emergency order last week. (Donald G. McNeil Jr., April 2019) - "Faced with an expanding measles outbreak, Mayor Bill de Blasio of NY declared a public health emergency on Tuesday and ordered a program of mandatory vaccination in parts of Brooklyn". A ideal storm of virulent anti-vaccine sentiment has taken hold in the United States in less than two decades - most commonly among those too young to remember the wrath of measles and other deadly diseases - that can be pinpointed to some of these factors: a fraudulent U.K. research study that linked autism with vaccines, the rise of uninformed and potentially unsafe social media chatter, and pockets of people who either don't believe measles is "as bad as we are told" or who desire natural, so-called alternative parenting styles.
"I really can't stress enough that vaccination is the key to stopping any measles outbreak", Amler said.
Some 285 measles cases have been identified in New York City since last fall, compared to two in all of 2017. It's another significant milepost on the road to what will probably become a record outbreak after vaccines led to the disease's "elimination" in the United States.
"Our goal is to get people vaccinated", he said.
Director of Lee Health Services at Lee Rachel Coffey said that vaccinated people are still at risk of getting the virus. "Even the hospital didn't know what it was at first, but now they figured it out".
Like all but three USA states, NY requires a series of vaccinations for school-age children but has until now granted exemptions on both medical and religious grounds.
The city believes an estimated 1,800 children in Williamsburg were not immunized as of December.
David R. Curry, executive director of the Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy, told China Daily: "Once your child is exposed and has measles, there is no better convincing argument to parents who may be questioning whether vaccinations work than when they have to come to grips with the fact that their child, because they were unvaccinated, suddenly has a potentially unsafe disease". 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.
"When individuals are not vaccinated, there is a high likelihood of catching the disease", Sheffield said.
Instead, failure to vaccinate often is due to unfounded fears among people of all religions, cultures, ethnicities, and financial means.
If a child in your school or facility exhibits signs or symptoms of measles, please do not send them to a health care facility unannounced.
Westchester officials say eight cases of measles have been confirmed in their county.