New York declares measles emergency, blasts misinformation fueling outbreak

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a health emergency in areas of Brooklyn on Tuesday and ordered mandatory vaccinations for those who may have been exposed to the measles virus.

"The vaccine has been proven safe and effective in preventing the spread of measles for decades and we have evidence".

The outbreak has been predominately among ultra Orthodox Jews, and not unsimilar to outbreaks among other insular communities in recent years where parental fears about immunization have been influenced by an anti-vaccine movement in the larger population that persists despite scientific studies showing the safety of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

The city of NY has declared a public health emergency in response to the growing outbreak of measles in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, WLNY-TV reported Tuesday.

"We can not allow this unsafe disease to make a comeback here in New York City", de Blasio added. Most of the children were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. So far, 21 people have been hospitalized.

A total of 465 cases across 19 states have been confirmed this year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who ignore the order could be fined $1,000. "We stand with the majority of people in this community who have worked hard to protect their children and those at risk". She added that the city will help unprotected individuals secure affordable and accessible vaccination, and emphasized that vaccination is safe and effective.

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At least 285 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn and Queens have been reported since October, according to the New York City Health Department.

"There is a campaign with very intentional efforts to give misinformation", Herminia Palacio, the city's deputy mayor for public health, said at the news conference.

"We're making clear that unvaccinated students will not be allowed in schools or day cares", de Blasio said.

The commissioner is empowered by law to issue such orders in cases when they might be necessary to protect against a serious public health threat.

An outbreak in Rockland County outside New York City led officials to ban unvaccinated children from public places in mid-March.

Health officials made a specific point to condemn the resurgence of "measles parties", get-togethers where parents gather unvaccinated children with kids already suffering with measles in order to intentionally infect the group at a young age.

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