A friendly, public service announcement…. VACCINATE YOUR KIDS! Measles is a dangerous virus, for Christ’s sake:
Educators at a Williamsburg yeshiva allowed a virulent measles outbreak to infect 21 new victims by letting an unvaccinated child attend class there, according to the city’s chief physician, who urged parents to inoculate their kids against the potentially fatal illness.
“As a pediatrician, I can’t stress enough how critical it is to vaccinate children against measles,” said Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Measles is a serious, highly contagious, and potentially deadly infection. Complications and fatalities are rare but do happen.”
Leaders of Wilson Street’s Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov permitted the unvaccinated youngster to mingle with his mates, even though the school is subject to an emergency-health measure that mandates schools within certain parts of Williamsburg and Borough Park — where the measles virus infected 121 people since October — prohibit kids who have not received the required number of doses of the MMR vaccine from attending classes, according to Health Department reps.
The unvaccinated pupil did not display symptoms at the time, but already contracted the virus, and the highly contagious airborne pathogen soon swept through the school.
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The highly contagious measles virus, which was eradicated two decades ago in the U.S. with an effective vaccine, has returned with a surge of 90 diagnoses (mostly children) in Brooklyn, with most of the confirmed cases centered in the Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg, where 15 people were diagnosed since last October. There were 349 confirmed cases of measles in the U.S. in 2018, according to the CDC. According to the NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene: “The initial child with measles was unvaccinated and acquired measles on a visit to Israel, where a large outbreak of the disease is occurring. Since then, there have been additional children from Brooklyn who were unvaccinated and acquired measles while in Israel. Children who did not travel were also infected in Brooklyn or Rockland County. The neighborhoods that are affected include: Bensonhurst: 1 confirmed measles case (no new cases since November 2018) Borough Park: 41 confirmed measles cases (2 new cases in the past week) Midwood/Marine Park: 1 confirmed measles case (no new cases since November 2018) Williamsburg: 47 confirmed measles cases (15 new cases in the past week) If you plan to travel to Israel, protect yourself and your family against measles and get vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at least two weeks in advance of your trip. If you have traveled to Israel and you have a fever, cough, red eyes, runny nose and body rash, contact your doctor. You should call your doctor before going to their office to prevent exposing other people to measles.” The measles virus can live for two hours in rooms lacking ventilation and is spread through casual contact. Symptoms include a rash that can spread across the body along with white spots in the mouth, high fever, runny sinus, and a cough. A 95 percent immunization rate is ideal to shield the general population, but immunization rates are as low as 60 percent in New York regions according to the NY Times.