National news and social media is buzzing with reports of measles outbreaks across the country. According to a recent article in the New York Times, within the past few months the state of New York has seen over 180 cases of measles with 32 reported in Brooklyn. In 2018, more than half the measles cases in the country were in New York and New Jersey.
Measles is a serious respiratory disease (in the lungs and breathing tubes) that causes a rash and fever. It is very contagious. In rare cases, it can be deadly. Once quite common, measles can now almost always be prevented with a vaccine.
The New York Times reported that within NYC, mostly all cases exclusively are in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities from travelers to Israel and Europe where measles has been spreading. They then spent time in homes, schools and shops in communities where too many people were unvaccinated. To read the article further: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/nyregion/measles-outbreak-jews-nyc.html
Unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of measles and its complications, including death, according to the World Health Organization. Older children and adults, even if they’ve never been vaccinated, may have developed natural immunity through previous infections. Known as the MMR or measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, the vaccine is very effective, the CDC says. One dose is about 93% effective at preventing the contagious disease if you come into contact with the virus. Two doses are about 97% effective. It is recommended that children receive the vaccine in two doses: the first between the ages of 12 months and 15 months and the second between the ages of 4 and 6 years old. However, with controversy over the MMR vaccination being linked to autism, there is an increase of parents denying the MMR vaccination. New York allows parents to refuse vaccinations for non-medical reasons.
9 Things to know about Measles: https://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/things-know-about-measles