NYC Declares Public Health Emergency over Measles Outbreak

NYC Declares Public Health Emergency over Measles Outbreak

He also represents parents in Rockland County, a New York City suburb with a large Orthodox Jewish community, who challenged a local government executive order barring unvaccinated children from indoor public spaces. A state judge sided with the parents and issued a preliminary injunction against the emergency order.

Under de Blasio's emergency order, "All persons who reside, work or attend school in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York and to the parents and/or guardians of any child who resides, works or attends school in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York", must receive vaccinations or prove a medical exemption applies.

Two of the children were hospitalized but have since been released, said Dr. Sherlita Amler, Westchester County health commissioner. This is New York City Mayor de Blasio announcing the new measures Tuesday. Those who refused to get immunized within 48 hours will risk receiving violation tickets or incurring fines of $1,000. Many studies have proven vaccines do not cause autism, and the majority of rabbis say vaccinations are healthy and kosher. The ultra-Orthodox communities of the county are the most affected by the measles outbreak according to the New York Times.

However, as the city battles to get the outbreak under control, The New York Daily News uncovered that there are at least 2,700 NYC public school students who are still unvaccinated because of a medical or religious exemption - these stretch farther than just the yeshivas.

The spreading anti-vaccination movement has contributed to 285 confirmed cases, including 21 requiring hospitalization, since the outbreak began this fall. 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.

"Call your healthcare provider as soon as possible", Amler said: "The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective". Under the code, the health commissioner has the authority to declare public health emergencies and take reasonable action "necessary for the health and safety" to protect against an existing threat.

"We try always to respect religious rights, religious customs, but when it comes to public health, when we see a problem emerge, we have to deal with it aggressively", de Blasio said.

"I don't expect that people are running out [to get vaccinated]".

The Westchester County Health Department provides the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine to residents free of charge at its clinics in Yonkers and White Plains (more information is available on the county's website). "The delay it is what's fueling this outbreak". Two additional cases were confirmed in Sullivan County. Six of the infected children are siblings.

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