NY fighting 'worst measles outbreak in recent history'

Henrietta Strickland
January 11, 2019

Since September 2018, New York state health officials have seen approximately 170 measles cases to include 55 confirmed cases in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, 105 cases in Rockland County, 7 in Orange County and one in Monroe County in western NY.

"Since then, there have been additional children from Brooklyn who were unvaccinated and acquired measles while in Israel".

As of January 2, the startling statistics include 32 cases in Borough Park, 21 in Williamsburg and one each in Bensonhurst and Midwood/Marine Park.

In Rockland County, which also has a high Orthodox Jewish population, there have been 105 confirmed cases of measles as of January 4, according to the county. In terms of identifying a possible case of measles, symptoms often mimic those of the common cold: fever, muscle pain, runny nose, and sore throat, along with a telltale blotchy red skin rash.

Measles is incredibly infectious and can spread airborne even hours after an infected person has left the room.

Anyone who is not vaccinated against the virus can contract it at any age, the Health Department said.

Some private schools in Rockland County, where the current outbreak is taking place, have reported vaccination rates of 50 percent, about half the 95 percent vaccination rate required to prevent outbreaks of disease.

"This outbreak is related to the large measles outbreak that is now going on in Israel", said Dr. Jane Zucker with the city's Health Department. "This has been the worst measles outbreak in recent history in NY state". That makes this the worst year for measles in the state since the 1990s, according to NBC News.

The department added that anyone planning to travel to Israel should get vaccinated with the MMR vaccine at least two weeks in advance of the trip.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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