NY county declares measles outbreak emergency

NY county declares measles outbreak emergency

NY county declares measles outbreak emergency

One in 10 children with measles ends up in hospital.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day told a press conference on Tuesday, that the NY suburb would be taking drastic measures to stop the measles outbreak that has plagued its residents since October as he declared an emergency, effective as of midnight Wednesday.

Due to come into effect at midnight Wednesday for 30 days, it appears to be the most radical step by United States officials following outbreaks in several regions blamed on an anti-vaccination movement.

Some put up fierce resistance, Day said, and the inspectors were being "hung up on or told not to call again".

Measles cases have increased in recent years in part because of fears fanned by anti-vaccine activists, according to Kaiser Health News. However, he said, parents and guardians who are found to be in violation will be held accountable and their cases will be referred to the district attorney's office.

The outbreak has mainly been isolated in a couple of communities within Rockland County, which is just north of New York City, but the whole community is at risk, he said, noting that there have been complications among patients, including a premature labor and a handful of hospitalizations.

The ban begins at midnight after which unvaccinated children will not be permitted in locations such as places of worship, schools and shopping malls. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the two-dose vaccine be given at 12 to 15 months of age and the second between age 4 and 6.

But despite the dangers, vaccination rates are declining in many countries.

Unvaccinated people can receive an exemption if they produce proper records indicating a special medical condition that precludes them from the vaccine. The illness can last several weeks, with symptoms usually appearing in 7-14 days. Day noted that the disease can lead to unsafe complications such as brain swelling and premature birth and should not be contracted on objective. It is believed it could have spread from other predominantly ultra-Orthodox areas around NY which have already seen outbreaks of measles.

New York State now allows religious exemptions for the measles vaccine. The German government is considering making measles vaccinations mandatory for all children. Numerous cases have been reported from Washington with the longest running illnesses taking place in NY.

"I'm very concerned about it because there are folks in this community, in this county, who will use this as an opportunity to be prejudiced", said Gary Siepser, CEO of the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Rockland County, according to the Journal News.

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