According to the NY City Health Dept., the number of measles cases in the city as of May 6, 2019, has reached 466 since the beginning of the outbreak last October. This figures includes 43 new cases recorded in April, and most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish communities of Williamsburg and Borough Park.
According to the Health Dept., on April 9, the Health Commissioner ordered every adult and child who lives, works or resides in the ZIP codes 11205, 11206, 11211, and 11249 and has not received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to be vaccinated immediately.
On April 17, the Board of Health voted unanimously to adopt a resolution supporting the Commissioner’s order and the vaccination requirement. So far, as of May 6, 22,833 doses of the MMR vaccine have been administered to people under age 19 in Williamsburg and Borough Park since October.
People who demonstrate they are immune from measles or have a medical condition that prevents them from receiving the vaccine do not need to get vaccinated. However, if the Health Department identifies a person with measles or an unvaccinated child exposed to measles in one of the above ZIP codes, that individual or their parent or guardian could be fined $1,000.
Measles is a virus that causes fever and a rash. It is highly contagious and anyone who is not vaccinated against the virus can get it at any age.
Although measles is rare in the United States because of high vaccination rates, it is still common in other parts of the world. Measles is common in some countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa and is occasionally brought into the Unites States by unvaccinated travelers who return with measles infection.
According to the Associated Press, the new cases include two public school students who live in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and are not part of the Orthodox Jewish community.
AP cited Health officials who claim 84 individuals in Williamsburg were served with summonses to pay fines for failing to comply with the mandatory vaccination order.