NY city declares public health emergency for measles outbreak

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Nurses wait for patients at the Rockland County Health Department in Haverstraw, N.Y., which has been affected by the measles outbreak.

On Friday they obtained a partial victory: A judge issued an injunction requiring county officials to drop the ban against any child with a "religious exemption", at least until April 19. People who refuse the vaccine or who refuse to get their children vaccinated could be fined, though de Blasio said he hoped to avoid levying any fines. Mr. Sussman told local NY media that he hoped to file a lawsuit by Friday.

However, state health officials said they are carefully watching the disease as it races through parts of the Northeast, the West Coast and the interior of the country.

"This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately", de Blasio said at a news conference on Tuesday in Williamsburg.

Under the new rules, anyone who has not received the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine or does not have evidence of immunity risks a fine of $1,000.

Statistics have shown that objections to vaccines are not necessarily religious or medical, as many parents claim in trying to obtain exemptions from mandatory school vaccinations.

The outbreak is centered in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities where vaccination rates are far below normal, due to some parents' objections.

The year is already shaping up to be one of the worst for measles outbreaks across the nation.

Some 285 measles cases have been identified in New York City since last fall, compared to two in all of 2017.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: The only way to stop this outbreak is to ensure that those who have not been vaccinated get the vaccine. In 2019, there is no reason that your child should not be protected when we have at our fingertips safe and effective vaccines to prevent deadly diseases. We will use it prudently, we will use it with restraint, but we will use it to protect the public health of Westchester people.

Amler cautioned anyone who thinks they have measles to call their doctor and report their symptoms. Under the code, the health commissioner has the authority to declare public health emergencies and take reasonable action "necessary for the health and safety" to protect against an existing threat.

The notice said the university was "working to alert those students who have not submitted proper records".

"There is an element of anti-vaccine supporters and sympathizers who do not want to get shots".

"Once you delay it a few months, you exponentially increase the vector for infection", said Begun, who said families of eight to 10 children are typical in his practice.

Westchester officials have yet to announce what measure they will take, but Westchester Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler implored parents to vaccinate their children.

By the time the vaccines were administered, the measles outbreak in Philadelphia was subsiding - after nine children had died, including six from Faith Tabernacle.

City officials said that insured adults and children will be covered.