New York, – The New York Department of Health warned on Monday to schools in the Jewish community in the Brooklyn district that they will face sanctions or be closed if they admit children who have not been vaccinated against measles due to the outbreak of this disease, of which 285 cases are already known in the State.
The outbreak of measles continues to grow alarmingly, said the municipal director of Health, Oxiris Barbot, who recalled that cases began last October and that many of these have been confirmed during the last two months, of which 246 cases are children under 18 years old.
A total of 39 cases have been registered in adults and according to Barbot, who is a pediatrician, they have occurred in individuals who have not been vaccinated or who do not have all the vaccines, according to a statement.
He stressed that there have been no deaths related to the outbreak but there have been complications, including 21 hospitalizations and 5 admissions to the intensive care unit.
According to the Department of Health, more cases of measles have been reported in the Jewish communities of Williamsburg and Borough Park in Brooklyn.
Five of them, among them the first known cases of this outbreak, were infected during a visit to Israel, where a major epidemic of the disease is occurring.
Barbot called on New Yorkers and in particular the Orthodox Jewish community to take advantage of the “Passover” or Jewish Passover (April 19 to 27) period to get the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to prevent the spread of the virus.
He further indicated that individuals traveling to areas with extensive measles outbreaks in progress, including Israel, Europe, northern New York and other parts of the US, should ensure that they and their children are properly vaccinated against measles.
“As a pediatrician I know that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is safe and effective This outbreak is being fed by a small group against vaccines in this neighborhood They have been spreading dangerous misinformation based on data not supported by science “, said Barbot.
“We have seen a large increase in the number of people vaccinated in this neighborhood, but, as the ‘Passover’ approaches, we need to do everything we can to ensure more people get vaccinated,” he said in the statement.
Bardot recalled that measles is a highly contagious disease that can cause pneumonia, encephalitis, and death and that it is easy to prevent with an effective and safe vaccine.
He also warned that newborns, pregnant women and those with a weak immune system can not be vaccinated.
Therefore, he said, it is important that everyone around them get vaccinated to protect them from contracting the virus that can have serious complications in this susceptible population.
Symptoms, which include fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, may appear between 10 and 12 days after infection, although in some cases they may show up in seven days or take as long as 21 days (EFEUSA).