Measles: Counties with highest outbreak risk with Sahotra Sarkar, PhD

Grant Boone
May 16, 2019

This year's count of measles cases has already surpassed 800... and it's only May.

In New York state, public health authorities attribute the outbreak to anti-vaccination sentiments among a small subgroup of religious Orthodox Jewish residents among whom the virus has spread.

HOGAN: Over the next few years, federal funding increased sevenfold.

GWYNNE HOGAN, BYLINE: In the summer of 1990, New Kids On The Block were at the top of the charts, and New York City was in the middle of a massive measles outbreak.

HOGAN: In the summer of 1991, the city and state redoubled their efforts. Shots were given to kids at parks and beaches and outdoor concerts, including one featuring Latin jazz icon Tito Puente.

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"We had a health care system that simply wasn't created to serve low-income kids living in cities who were more reliant on public clinics, which weren't necessarily open all the time. or were few and far between", Conis says. The outbreak petered out.

Since October 1, health officials there say they've administered almost 23,000 doses of the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine and that more than 11,000 of those doses were administered in Williamsburg, where more than 80% of the New York City cases have occurred.

"Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting infected when they travel internationally", the CDC says.

Today's measles outbreak in NY is far smaller than the one in the 1990s. Federal health officials said this outbreak has mostly affected children who have not received the vaccine, which confers immunity to the disease.

The United States recorded 75 new cases of the measles in the last week, totaling 839 cases in the country's worst outbreak of the virus since 1994, federal health officials said on Monday. On Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation that revokes parents' ability to claim personal or philosophical objections to their children receiving the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine before attending school.

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