Biggest measles outbreak since 2000 strikes 19 states

Grant Boone
April 13, 2019

New York City declares a state of public health emergency in Brooklyn as the measles outbreak has reached at least 285 cases. But they said they were taking additional steps to control the outbreak in advance of Passover, when some families may travel overseas to areas in Israel or Europe that are experiencing measles outbreaks. Health officials blame its resurgence on falling vaccination rates fueled by myths that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine increases the risk of children developing autism.

Last week saw a minor victory for vaccination advocates amid the United States' ongoing measles outbreak: A Kentucky judge ruled against a lawsuit filed by 18-year-old Jerome Kunkel against the Northern Kentucky Health Department, claiming the department had discriminated against Kunkel by asking schools to exclude students not vaccinated for chicken pox from school and extracurricular activities. "And they may spread measles to people who can not get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions". Westchester's health commissioner says two had to be hospitalized. Her son's mother-in-law has measles, she said, and is now in the hospital.

And we ask given continued fears in some communities around vaccines despite years of overwhelming scientific consensus about their safety, do we need to change how we talk about vaccines? Over the years, these vaccines have saved many lives, while causing few to no side effects.

In 27 years of practicing medicine, Ruppert said, this is "one of the most challenging health crises I have had to deal with". It comes with a fever between 103 and 105 degrees, cough, runny nose, reddening of eyes or conjunctivitis, and a rash in the form of small raised red dots. Those who refused to get immunized within 48 hours will risk receiving violation tickets or incurring fines of $1,000. The virus spread from there. "I don't think they should be getting fined, I think another penalty should be given", said Charlette Hamlin, 36, who is in favor of vaccinations for all. "That combination means this is the right time for this measure".

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Sitharaman also said that Britain should also say sorry for a lesser-known but much bigger tragedy - the Bengal starvation in eastern India during World War II.

Let's also not forget the other life-saving vaccines that protect us against such potentially deadly diseases as polio, hepatitis B, pneumococcal pneumonia, the flu, Haemophilus influenza type B, and HPV, which can cause cervical and throat cancers.

While it's rare in the U.S., about 1 in every 1 000 children who get measles dies, according to the CDC. He said that most things that happen in Jewish communities get blown out of proportion, "If it [the outbreak] was true, there would be signs outside every synagogue telling people not to go in, and there aren't".

"I haven't had anyone come to me and point out why the Bible opposes vaccination, but there are some who simply don't want to receive it", Coffey said.

Since October, Rockland County has experienced a measles outbreak of more than 160 confirmed cases. During the third week of March, exposed individuals visited a dozen different locations on multiple dates, including several facilities associated with Orthodox Judaism, children's stores and restaurants in Lakewood, a regional emergency room, and Newark Liberty International Airport's Terminal B.

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