Mayor Declares 'Health Emergency' as Measles Outbreak Hits Brooklyn — DE BLASIO'S NYC

Leslie Hanson
April 11, 2019

New York City's health commissioner has declared a public health emergency over a major measles outbreak in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, with 250 cases documented in the area since September 2018.

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.

"Measles is a unsafe, potentially deadly disease that can easily be prevented with vaccine", said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. Here's how anxious you should be.

Measles cases are on the rise in New Jersey and just across the state line in NY. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 465 measles cases have been reported so far this year, up from 387 the week before. "They have been spreading unsafe misinformation based on fake science", Barbot said.

Some Orthodox Jews have resisted vaccines.

'You get phony, phony articles and studies, so yes, some people will fall for that, ' he said.

But health experts are concerned by the booming number of parents in Brooklyn who are skeptical of vaccines.

In an April 9 interview on WAMC with Alan Chartok, chief executive office of the Northeast Public Radio station, New York Governor Andrew Cumo said he thought the debate over parental rights to not vaccine their children against the right of the public to be protected would end up in the courts. "What he decides", Braver added.

The New York Civil Liberties Union also questioned the city's move.

Executive director Donna Lieberman called it "an extreme measure" that "raises civil liberties concerns about forced medical treatment".

De Blasio, a Democrat, said officials were confident the order would withstand legal scrutiny. The outbreak is primarily affecting the Orthodox Jewish community.

The public health order makes the measles vaccine mandatory for people living in the affected areas of Brooklyn and fines will be issued to those who remain unvaccinated, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference. Violators will face a $1,000 fine.

To encourage immunization, the city has created the slogan, "Don't wait".

Of the 285 confirmed cases, 246 are children and 39 are adults.

"There is no religious exemption on measles", Gary Schlesinger, CEO of Parcare Community Health Network, told WLNY.

Miranda said there's no blueprint for how city officials could forcibly vaccinate people.

But the CDC says 1 in 12 children do not receive the first dose on time, and in some places vaccination rates are far lower than the national average. "All rabbis, all prominent rabbis have issued proclamations that everyone should vaccinate". The CDC attributes the trend partly to lack of health insurance.

"As a pediatrician, I know the MMR vaccine is safe and effective".

In Brooklyn and Rockland County, anti-vaccination advocates have been circulating a 40-page booklet around Orthodox Jewish enclaves.

Video: Despite evidence that vaccines are safe and effective, the anti-vaccination movement is gaining strength. But since there's always a small percentage of the population that can't be vaccinated (including young infants), "the wall is never going to be complete", he said.

Measles is a highly-infectious viral illness spread by contact with respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing. Once people have become infected by measles, their bodies build up their immune systems to prevent new inflections.

Public health nurse Deb Floren shows a vial of the measles vaccine Thursday at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building in Willmar. But anti-vaccine propaganda has found an audience among a larger than usual percentage of parents in a community used to cultural clashes with city officials.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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