New York City orders mandatory measles vaccines for some

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

New York's mayor has declared a public health emergency following a measles outbreak.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the unusual order on Tuesday (local time) amid what he said was a measles crisis in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section, where more than 250 people have contracted measles since September. "I urge everyone, especially those in affected areas, to get their MMR vaccines to protect their children, families and communities". A Williamsburg yeshiva that fell out of compliance in January is connected to more than 40 measles cases, ABC7 NY reported. Anyone who resists could be fined up to US$1,000.

Battling a fast-growing measles outbreak, New York City has declared an emergency and ordered mandatory vaccinations under threat of fine in a Brooklyn neighborhood where the disease is spreading.

New Yorkers who believe they were exposed to measles or who have symptoms of measles should contact their health care provider before seeking care to prevent exposure to other patients.

At least 285 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn and Queens have been reported since October, according to the New York City Health Department.

To date, 285 cases have been confirmed since the beginning of the outbreak in October, with numerous new cases being confirmed in the last two months. While there have been no deaths, 21 people have been hospitalized and five have gone into ICU. Most of the children were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. All but 39 of the confirmed cases are in children. "We have to stop it now", De Blasio said on Tuesday in Brooklyn. "He was joined by city health officials who decried what they called 'misinformation" spread by opponents of vaccines.

"We have a situation now where children are in danger". The outbreak has largely centred around ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities where immunisation rates are low.

The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. Newborns, pregnant individuals, and those with weakened immune systems can not get vaccinated, so it is important that everyone around them be vaccinated in order to protect them from contracting the virus and prevent severe complications in these susceptible populations.

The outbreak is part of a broader resurgence in the United States, with 465 cases reported in 19 states so far this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Michigan's measles outbreak dates back to March 13, when the health department reported that the first case came from someone "visiting from Israel following a stay in NY".

But health experts are concerned by the booming number of parents in Brooklyn who are skeptical of vaccines.

'I know that getting vaccinated is far safer than getting measles.

The worst measles outbreak since 1991 has prompted the declaration of a public health emergency in Williamsburg in which unvaccinated students won't be allowed at schools or daycares, de Blasio said.

The vaccination mandate would remain in place until the New York City Board of Health's next meeting on April 17 when officials will determine whether or not to continue the order, Barbot said in the release.

The best protection from measles is to have two MMR vaccinations.