Mayor Declares 'Health Emergency' as Measles Outbreak Hits Brooklyn — DE BLASIO'S NYC

Wednesday, 10 Apr, 2019

NY has contended with measles outbreaks and the legal challenges that have arisen in efforts to contain them.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the unusual order amid what he said was a measles "crisis" in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section, where more than 250 people, mostly members of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish religious community, have gotten measles since September.

"We have a situation now where children are in danger", de Blasio said at a news conference. Those found to be in violation of the order could face up to a $1,000 fine, officials said. Refusing to vaccinate could come with a $1,000 fine.

"If people ignore our order", he added, "We will issue fines".

To encourage immunization, the city has created the slogan, "Don't wait".

"We are absolutely certain we have the power to do this", de Blasio said, regarding the city's legal authority to carry out its order to vaccinate residents. In other boroughs we've seen no cases.

Of those infected, 246 were children, NY health commissioner Oxiris Barbot said.

The infection can cause serious illness and complication in infants, pregnant women, and those compromised immune systems, she continued.

The vast majority of cases are children under 18 years of age (246 cases), and 39 cases are adults.

The disease spreads easily and can be fatal.

Anyone looking to find out where they can get vaccinated or to get more information can call 311.

New York City declared a public health emergency this Tuesday due to a measles outbreak that has hit the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg.

The resurgence of the once-eradicated, highly-contagious disease is linked to a growing anti-vaccine movement in richer nations - which the World Health Organization has identified as a major global health threat. "I know that getting vaccinated is far safer than getting measles". "It's time to protect your family and your community". Less than 20% of those cases were even reported to the CDC, the agency estimated. In 2018, there were 56 instances and there have been more than 225 cases already this year.

"This can be turned around quickly", he said.

"We can not wait until someone dies for us to act".

"This outbreak is being fuelled by a small group of anti-vaxxers in these neighbourhoods".

"They're spreading this information through hotlines, some publications".

His deputy mayor for Health and Human Services, Dr. Herminia Palacio, also warned about the risk to others, and mentioned "measles parties" where parents purposely take their uninfected kids to be near infected children.

Earlier this week, the city ordered religious schools and day care programs serving that community to exclude unvaccinated students or risk being closed down.