City Works To Stem Worst Measles Outbreak In Recent History

January 08, 2019 - 5:41 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Health officials are cautioning New York residents as the state continues to battle the worst measles outbreak in decades.

The measles virus has engulfed Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County, and all 55 of those confirmed to be infected in the city are Jewish.

“This outbreak is related to the large measles outbreak that is currently going on in Israel,” said Dr. Jane Zucker with the city’s Health Department.

An unvaccinated child brought the disease back with them after visiting Israel in 2018 and the disease quickly spread.

“If in fact children who traveled had been vaccinated on time, we would not have had this outbreak,” Zucker notes.

The Department of Health says there are still some pockets of the community that are getting misinformation about vaccines and doctors are working to combat that.

“We've been disseminating information about the importance of vaccination. That the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine works and it is safe and effective,” Zucker told WCBS 880.

She also wants school principals to stay on top of New York State law, saying vaccination exemptions are allowed for religious reasons but not for personal beliefs— she says nobody should confuse the two.