Medicine

NYC declares public health emergency, orders mandatory measles vaccinations

NYC declares public health emergency, orders mandatory measles vaccinations

Under the mandatory vaccinations, members of the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will check the vaccination records of any individual who may have been in contact with infected patients. Before then, between 3 million and 4 million people got measles every year, according to the CDC.

New York City has declared a public health emergency over a measles outbreak centered in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and ordered mandatory vaccinations in the neighbourhood. Since then, however, there has been a steep increase in reported cases, with at least 465 incidents of measles reported in the USA since January 1.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the order Tuesday. "He was joined by city health officials who decried what they called 'misinformation" spread by opponents of vaccines.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can result in serious health complications, such as pneumonia and swelling of the brain.

Insured adults and children will be covered.

And throughout the press conference, city officials reiterated the safety and effectiveness of the measles vaccine, with the city's chief physician describing an annual national death toll that reached into the hundreds before the measles vaccine was invented.

Deliberately exposing a child to chickenpox comes with risks. Measles parties are "dangerous", since the disease can be fatal.

Symptoms can appear anytime from seven to 21 days following exposure, according to the Health Department. The vaccine offers the same immunity boost without the ordeal of enduring the virus.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, there are no less than seven ongoing outbreaks of measles, spread across five states, in the US right now.

More news: Merkel warns European Union is likely to agree to lengthy Brexit delay

The CDC reported this week that 465 cases have been confirmed in 19 states in 2019, the second-highest total since measles was declared eliminated. But vaccination rates have declined in recent years, according to infectious disease experts.

In March. a county in NY state declared a state of emergency following a measles outbreak.

The emergency warning covers certain postcodes in Brooklyn. Those who are uninsured will pay what they can afford, de Blasio said, and those who cannot afford the vaccination will receive it for free. "We can not allow this unsafe disease to make a comeback in this city - we have to stop it now".

Community leaders and doctors welcomed the move. "All rabbis, all prominent rabbis have issued proclamations that everyone should vaccinate". 'The schools are cooperating, everyone's cooperating'.

That message was also echoed by Dr Herminia Palacio, deputy mayor of health and human services, who said that "this vaccine is safe".

Still, he said, "there is no pope in Judaism, and no one can force you to vaccinate". 'They will do anything and everything to improve the health of their children'.

Q: Why so many cases in New York's Orthodox Jewish communities?

'In general, the Orthodox community does immunize, ' said Dr. Joseph Kaplovitz, who works at the NYU Langone Stepping Stones Pediatrics clinic in Brooklyn's Borough Park.

Since last October, the community has seen 285 cases of measles, prompting the city to order child care centers and yeshivas in Jewish communities throughout Williamsburg to keep non-vaccinated children from attending until the outbreak subsided.


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