Five more yeshivas have ignored a New York City Health Department order to block unvaccinated children (without a measles inoculation) from entering schools in specific Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, the NY Post reports.
In three of the schools, children were allowed to attend classes while they were sick with the measles and still contagious, according to city officials quoted in the report.
Of those children who were infected, 11 were hospitalized, including one admitted to an Intensive Care Unit, officials said.
One of the schools – Yeshiva Kehilath Yaakov Pupa in Williamsburg – was cited this past January for ignoring the directive. A total of 28 cases of measles and 14 other infections were reported among the student body in the school.
The Health Department ordered the yeshivas to immediately comply with vaccination protocols or face fines.
As of March 12, there were 158 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn and Queens since last October. “Most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community,” according to the Health Department website.
With one exception in Queens, the neighborhoods that are affected are all in Brooklyn:
Bensonhurst: 1 confirmed measles case (no new cases since November 2018)
Borough Park: 44 confirmed measles cases (2 additional cases in the past week)
Brighton Beach: 1 travel-related case
Midwood/Marine Park: 2 confirmed measles case (1 additional case in the past week)
Williamsburg: 109 confirmed measles cases (22 additional cases in the past week)
“As the city’s doctor, and a pediatrician, I am very concerned that children without the measles vaccination are at unnecessary risk for serious, and potentially fatal, symptoms related to measles,” Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said in a statement.
“The outbreak is not over, and we will continue to see additional cases as long as unvaccinated students are not properly excluded from attending school,” she said.
Early symptoms – which include fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes – usually appear 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus. In some cases, symptoms may start as early as seven days or as late as 21 days.
Barbot’s office warned that measles can result in brain swelling, pneumonia and even death.
All children enrolled in pre-kindergarten, nursery school, daycare programs, and Head Start are required to receive one dose of the measles vaccine. Children enrolled in grades K through 12 and college students must have two doses of measles vaccine. Health care workers are required to receive two doses of a measles-containing vaccine, or have a blood test showing that they are immune.