NY declares a public measles health emergency

Friday, 12 Apr, 2019

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 have got measles since September.

The emergency order came as the city, a suburban ny county and some other parts of the nation grapple with a spurt in a disease the USA declared eradicated nearly two decades ago.

This is almost an eight-fold increase in measles cases reported since previous year, with 18,407 cases in 2018 compared with 2,428 cases in 2017.

This picture taken on April 5, 2019 shows a nurse preparing the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department in Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York. MI and New Jersey.

Most of the reported illnesses are in children.

"Getting vaccinated is far safer than getting the measles", said Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot.

As skepticism over vaccines has increased in recent years, the number of cases of preventable diseases has spiked accordingly.

Q: How risky is measles?

Since the measles outbreak began in October of previous year, close to 300 people have been diagnosed with the highly contagious viral disease.

Q: How does it spread?

The agency adds that the virus can linger in the air for up to two hours, retaining its potency and immediately infecting anyone without proper vaccinations.

A virus causes measles, which is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld such an order in a 1905 case involving smallpox vaccinations in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

According to New York City's Health Department, "five cases, including the initial case of measles, were acquired on a visit to Israel". "The only way to stop this outbreak is to ensure that people who have not been vaccinated get the vaccine". Two people contracted measles while in the United Kingdom and one in Ukraine.

Q: How many USA children are vulnerable? Full vaccination is 97% effective at preventing measles.

But some in this insular ultra-Orthodox community expressed anger and suspicion, suggesting the city was conspiring with nefarious doctors. Others remain convinced, against expert assurances, that vaccines are unsafe.

Q: Why isn't everyone vaccinated? But that still leaves more than 13,500 students unprotected, the vast majority of whom opted out when their parents claimed vaccines conflicted with their religious beliefs.

In Washington state, lawmakers are debating ending that personal or philosophical exemption, as are several other states.

The outbreak has mostly occurred within the Orthodox Jewish community where some parents have opted out of vaccinating their children citing religious reasons.

"The majority of people are trying to make the right decisions for their children", Lane said, "and government mandates interfere with a person's right to do that, and they interfere with a patient's relationship with their doctor".

World Health Organization estimates that around 2.6 million Filipino children under the age of 5 are not protected from measles, and the country will continue to have periodic measles outbreaks as long as the routine immunization remains low. The AP is exclusively responsible for all content.