A single yeshiva in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn has resulted in 21 of the 31 new cases of measles reported this month in the city's Orthodox Jewish community, officials said Thursday.
This brings to 121 the total number recorded since the beginning of the October epidemic – and 108 children under 18 years old.
Although no one died, there were 8 hospitalizations and one child had to be treated in an intensive care unit, officials said.
The Ministry of Health has appointed a yeshiva – who has not been appointed – as responsible for most new cases.
In December, the ministry announced the mandatory exclusion of students attending schools from certain postal codes in Borough Park and Williamsburg neighborhoods in Brooklyn that did not receive the required number of doses of measles vaccine.
Officials said that a yeshiva had ignored the order.
"This yeshiva did not respect the exclusion measure of the Ministry of Health in mid-January, allowing an unvaccinated student with measles who has not yet presented symptoms [to attend classes], "Said the department in a press release.
Measles is a highly contagious disease that can cause pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and even death.
But measles can be prevented with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, health officials have worked with elected officials, community organizations and religious leaders to conduct an extensive awareness campaign to raise awareness among residents of affected areas of the importance of health. the vaccination.
Thanks to this effort, more than 7,000 people have received the vaccine.
Last week, the department expanded immunization recommendations for health service providers serving the Orthodox Jewish community to include an additional early dose of the vaccine for children aged 6 to 11 months living in Williamsburg and Borough. Park.
"As a pediatrician, I can not stress enough the crucial importance of immunizing children against measles," said Dr Oxiris Barbot, Health Commissioner.
Fever, cough, runny nose and red and watery eyes are the first symptoms of measles.Infected people are contagious four days before the onset of the rash and until the fourth day after his appearance.
The measles rash usually starts on the face and goes down into the body. The rash lasts for several days.