New York Declares Public Health Emergency and Orders Mandatory Measles Vaccinations

Following a measles outbreak in several ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency.

He pointed out that it was one of the largest measles outbreaks in decades and demanded unvaccinated people living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to get the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR), to control the situation.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will check the vaccination records of those who might have been in contact with infected patients. If people don’t follow de Blasio’s instructions, the city could issue violations and fines of $1,000.

During a news conference in Williamsburg, de Blasio said:

“This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately. The measles vaccine works. It is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested.”

So far, 285 cases of measles have been reported in Brooklyn and Queens since the outbreak began in October. Apart from that, 15 people in Orange County, NY, and 168 people in Rockland County, NY, have got infected, too.

Health officials set clear that the outbreak began when an unvaccinated child got the virus in Israel.

"Since then, there have been additional people from Brooklyn and Queens who were unvaccinated and acquired measles while in Israel. People who did not travel were also infected in Brooklyn and Rockland County," added the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in its website.

De Blasio finally confessed that they have a “very serious situation” and that they couldn’t allow the disease to “make a comeback in this city.”

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