Authorities in New York have this week declared a public health emergency in a number of areas of Brooklyn, New York, following a measles outbreak affecting the Orthodox Jewish community.
More than 285 cases of measles have been documented in people living in the area since September 2018, with authorities saying that this number is continuing to grow, despite efforts to stop the outbreak. There have been no deaths associated with this outbreak; however, there have been complications, including 21 hospitalisations and five admissions to the intensive care unit.
Health Commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot said the outbreak is “being fuelled by a small group of anti-vaxxers in these neighbourhoods."
On Tuesday, authorities announced that any unvaccinated individual living in those affected areas who may have been exposed to measles will be required to receive the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to protect others in the community and help curtail the ongoing outbreak.
Under the mandatory vaccination directive, members of the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will check the vaccination records of any individual who may have been in contact with infected patients, and those who have not received the vaccine or have evidence of immunity could be fined US$1,000.