THE FOLLOWING IS VIA YWN
The Health Department today announced it has issued Commissioner’s Orders to all yeshivas in Williamsburg affected by the school exclusion mandate. This means that any school out of compliance will immediately be issued a violation and possible closure.
- In December, the Health Department ordered yeshivas and childcare centers serving the Orthodox Jewish community in the affected ZIP codes in Brooklyn to exclude all unvaccinated students from attending school or daycare until the outbreak is declared over.
- In January, one yeshiva in Williamsburg fell out of compliance with the Department’s exclusion mandate, allowing unvaccinated children back into school or daycare. This single yeshiva is connected to more than 40 cases, resulting in a large increase in measles cases and the continuation of the outbreak.
- The Health Department has since issued Commissioner’s Orders to all yeshivas in Williamsburg to comply with the mandatory exclusion of unvaccinated children or face violations subject to fines and possible school closure.
The measles outbreak in the Orthodox Jewish community continues to increase at an alarming rate. To date, 285 cases have been confirmed since the beginning of the outbreak in October, with many of these new cases being confirmed in the last 2 months. The vast majority of cases are children under 18 years of age (246 cases), and 39 cases are adults. Most of these measles cases were unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated individuals. There have been no deaths associated with this outbreak, although there have been complications, including 21 hospitalizations and five admissions to the intensive care unit.
Ahead of Passover, the Health Department is urging all New Yorkers—especially those in the Orthodox Jewish community—to get the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to prevent further spread of the virus. Individuals traveling to areas with ongoing large outbreaks, including Israel, Europe, Upstate New York, and other parts of the United States should make sure they and their children are appropriately vaccinated with MMR.
“As a pediatrician, I know the MMR vaccine is safe and effective. This outbreak is being fueled by a small group of anti-vaxxers in these neighborhoods. They have been spreading dangerous misinformation based on fake science,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “We stand with the majority of people in this community who have worked hard to protect their children and those at risk. We’ve seen a large increase in the number of people vaccinated in these neighborhoods, but as Passover approaches, we need to do all we can to ensure more people get the vaccine.”
Most cases have been reported from Williamsburg and Borough Park, Brooklyn. Five cases, including the initial case of measles, were acquired on a visit to Israel, where a large outbreak of the disease is occurring. Two people contracted measles from the U.K. and one from Ukraine. Read more at YWN