New York City Declares Health Emergency As Measles Outbreak Continues

Ben Davidson
April 13, 2019

As NYCityLens reported, Mayor Bill De Blasio declared a public health emergency Tuesday because of the growing measles outbreak in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

The CDC blames measles outbreaks across the United States on two factors: an increase in the number of people who bring measles into the country from overseas and pockets of unvaccinated people living here.

Avi, 17, a resident of Kensington, Brooklyn, said he and hasn't seen any cases of measles. But unvaccinated children and adults pose very real dangers to infants too young to be vaccinated, to people with compromised immune systems (such as those undergoing cancer treatment), and to pregnant women whose unborn babies can be infected.

Last week saw a minor victory for vaccination advocates amid the United States' ongoing measles outbreak: A Kentucky judge ruled against a lawsuit filed by 18-year-old Jerome Kunkel against the Northern Kentucky Health Department, claiming the department had discriminated against Kunkel by asking schools to exclude students not vaccinated for chicken pox from school and extracurricular activities.

"You will not find rabbis citing Jewish law to say people should not be vaccinated", he said, stressing that his federation, like other Jewish organizations, encourages vaccination.

The Westchester County Department of Health is working with the families and health care providers to identify locations where the children may have exposed others. The declaration comes after the NYC Health Department issued Commissioner's Orders last week to all yeshivas and day care programs serving the Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg.

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"I'm concerned but I'm not at a point of crisis mobilization", Latimer said. Miriam's daughter doesn't want to vaccinate her children, she said, because she is anxious about the vaccines affecting brain function. Additionally, the CDC explains that sometimes people are unable to receive the MMR vaccine and become susceptible to infection during outbreaks among unvaccinated communities.

Measles symptoms start with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. "He called me yesterday afternoon to tell me", she said of her son. The virus spread from there. "I think it will help in getting the community covered", he said.

We need to choose our battles in this quest to keep our children safe and preserve our rights to individuality.

Some in the Orthodox Jewish community oppose vaccines, saying it is a part of their religious belief or they refer to fears that vaccines will cause autism. The same document said that the city is responsible for controlling the contagious disease and thereby orders parents and guardians of unvaccinated children ages six months and up should bring them in for MMR shots within 48 hours from the date of the order. The bulk of the recent outbreaks - defined as three or more connected cases - occurred in our region, including 173 cases diagnosed this year in Rockland County, New York, where government officials have attempted to ban unvaccinated individuals from public spaces.

"Our goal is to get people vaccinated", he said. Yes, it is hard to watch our children cry when they get their vaccinations, because our instinct is to protect them.

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