New York Mayor declares emergency after Haredi outbreak in Brooklyn – Diaspora



A vial of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and a fact sheet.

A vial of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and a fact sheet are seen in a hospital
(photo credit: REUTERS / BRIAN SNYDER)

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said Tuesday that a public health emergency was underway, warning that all unvaccinated people in Brooklyn would now be held receive measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) or be subject to strict penalties. The emergency situation has been declared due to an epidemic of the disease among ultra-Orthodox Jews living in the area.

The New York Department of Health and Mental Health will check the vaccination records of anyone who may have been exposed to infected patients. Anyone who has not been vaccinated or who shows proof of immunity may be subject to a violation and fined $ 1,000.
The order also prohibits unvaccinated students from going to school or daycare. Any school or daycare facility allowing unvaccinated students to attend school could be punishable by offenses punishable by a fine of $ 1,000 per offense, or even a closure.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr. de Blasio stressed the need for urgent action before the Passover holidays, as many people will travel and meet during the Passover holiday, which could significantly increase the risk that outbreaks will develop much, much worse.

"It's a disease that can spread in hours," Blasio said. "It can be fatal."

The measles vaccine will be given to all those who need it in New York vaccination centers, even those who can not afford it.

285 people have been infected since the beginning of the epidemic in the Orthodox Jewish community of New York since last October.

Jewish community leaders worked with the New York City government to try to curb the epidemic, but New York's yeshivas violated orders from the health department to bar students from entering infected several times since the beginning of the epidemic.

Most cases of measles outbreaks have been reported in Borough Park and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Large outbreaks of measles have been reported around the world, including a major epidemic in Israel.

There have been reports of "measles parties" in which children are brought to an infected person to become infected. Dr. Herminia Palacio, deputy mayor of health and social services in New York, pointed out at the press conference that this practice was extremely dangerous and should be avoided. At the press conference, officials also pointed out that the vaccine is 97% effective and that its safety has been proven.

According to the Times of Israel, an air hostess from El Al was hospitalized in a serious condition last week after catching measles on a flight connecting John F. Kennedy Airport to New York. York at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

No deaths were reported during the outbreak in New York, but some patients ended up in intensive care with serious complications.

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