Measles Outbreak in New York Suburb, Unvaccinated Children Barred from Public SpacesVaccination & Immunization

March 27, 2019 20:03
Measles Outbreak in New York Suburb, Unvaccinated Children Barred from Public Spaces

(Image source from: Patient Care Online)

A state of emergency has been declared in a county in New York state following a severe outbreak of measles. The announcement made on Tuesday followed other outbreaks of the disease in Washington, California, Texas, and Illinois.

Rockland County, on the Hudson River north of New York City, has barred unvaccinated children from public spaces after 153 cases were confirmed, CNN reported.

According to officials, the order, which bans unvaccinated children from places such as schools, shopping centers, restaurants and places of worship, would last 30 days. Violating the order would be punishable by a fine of $500 and up to six months in prison.

Vaccination rates have dropped steadily in the United States with many parents objecting for philosophical or religious reasons, or because they believe misleading information that vaccines cause autism in children, the BBC reported.

"We will not sit idly by while children in our community are at risk," Rockland County Executive Ed Day said in a statement. "This is a public health crisis and it is time to sound the alarm."

The outbreak in Rockland County was mostly concentrated in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, the New York Times reported. It is believed it could have spread from other predominantly ultra-Orthodox areas around New York which have already seen outbreaks of measles.

Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus and can cause serious health complications, including damage to the lungs and brain if left unvaccinated. The World Health Organization has declared the anti-vaccine movement to be one of the top global health threats for 2019.

By Sowmya Sangam

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measles  health and fitness