Two more Jewish schools have been closed by the New York City Department of Health due to unwillingness to comply with an order to produce documents proving compliance with an order to bar unvaccinated children from the building.
Tiferes Bnos and the Talmud Torah D’Nitra preschool in Williamsburg were both barred from reopening until they receive approval from the Health Department for plans to prevent unvaccinated children from attending classes.
Last month on the eve of the Passover holiday, the NYC Health Dept. announced it was closing four yeshivas in Williamsburg for failure to provide vaccination records upon request. United Talmudical Academy of Williamsburg-Yeshiva Torah V’Yirah, UTA Beth Rachel School for Girls, United Talmudical Academy, UTA Beth Rachel School for Girls were all forced to close because they did not provide documentation proving that unvaccinated children were being blocked from entering the school building.
There are currently more than 700 confirmed cases of the virus across the country, an outbreak that has hit a 25-year high.
People who have not received the measles vaccine and who live in four Brooklyn zip codes with large strictly Orthodox Jewish populations have been ordered to get vaccinated, under penalty of a potential fine of up to $1,000, according to an emergency order issued by the NYC Health Department and signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
As of April 29, there were 423 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx since October 2018, most involving members of the Orthodox Jewish community, according to a statement on the website of the NYC Health Dept.
“If you live, work or reside in Williamsburg, you are now required to get vaccinated for measles, unless you are immune or medically exempt,” the statement read. As of April 28, 21,284 doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine have been administered to people who are under 19 years old in Williamsburg and Borough Park since October.
Symptoms usually appear 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus, although in some cases, they may appear as early as seven days, or as late as 21 days. Early symptoms may include fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Within three to five days after initial symptoms, a rash of red spots appears on the face, and then spreads over the body. Complications can include diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis (brain infection) and in pregnant women, premature birth or low birth weight babies. In some cases, patients even die.
Vaccine is the best way to prevent measles.