Measles Outbreak 2019: NYC announces a Public Health Emergency
15 April, 2019, 06:29 | Author: Bruce West
The city health department ordered all ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools in a neighborhood of Brooklyn on Monday to exclude unvaccinated students from classes during the current measles outbreak.
"There are many more individuals who are living with chronic diseases, who are surviving cancer, and so we don't want children or adults to be unnecessarily exposed to measles" due to "measles parties". Last week, a state judge blocked an attempt by Rockland County officials to halt the spread of measles by banning unvaccinated children from public places.
"As the outbreak continues to grow and even spread to other counties in NY, the mayor has ordered that people who are unvaccinated have 48 hours to get their shots or they will be fined "$1,000 per instance".
A lawyer is poised to file a lawsuit challenging the order this week.
Some public health experts say the issue highlights a growing tension between infectious disease vaccination requirements and the religious liberty arguments increasingly relied upon to justify denying inoculations.
"This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately", de Blasio said at a press conference.
Anyone who would like to receive a vaccine at one of these clinics should register in advance for an appointment at www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60. The city said it would help everyone covered by the order get the vaccine if they can't get it quickly through their regular medical provider, according to WPIX.
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For the second week in a row, US health officials added dozens of new reports to the year's list of confirmed measles cases, bringing the total to 465 - already the highest number in the past five years.
"There's no question that vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving". The disease is transmitted when people who have not been vaccinated come into contact with others, so areas around worldwide airports or proximity to communities who shun vaccines are of particular concern.
Public health officials insist otherwise. Under the code, the health commissioner has the authority to declare public health emergencies and take reasonable action "necessary for the health and safety" to protect against an existing threat. Anyone who can not afford a vaccination will receive on for free. Those who are uninsured will pay what they can afford, de Blasio said, and those who cannot afford the vaccination will receive it free. "You have a larger pool of babies".
Eight children in Westchester County have contracted measles, County Executive George Latimer announced Wednesday. Six of the infected children are siblings. In response, anti-vaccination protesters have begun wearing yellow stars, claiming that rules based on vaccination status are analogous to the inhumane treatment of Jews during the Holocaust. "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.
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