Business Standard

NYC declares health emergency due to measles outbreak

IANS  |  New York 

After an outbreak of in parts of the city attributed to many people in those areas who refused to get vaccinated believing in unscientific rumours, City has declared a health emergency.

Under the emergency order, people living in the affected ares will have to get vaccinated or face fines of $1,000.

As of Monday, the city has reported 329 cases of measles, according to City Health Commissoner Oxiris Barbot, who oversees health issues in the city of 8.26 million people. "We expect these numbers to continue, given the incubation period", she warned.

The city shut down a pre-school programme on Monday because it did not comply with orders that schools cannot allow unvaccinated children to attend classes.

Barbot said: "This outbreak is being fuelled by a small group of anti-vaxxers in these neighbourhoods. They have been spreading dangerous misinformation based on fake science."

Declaring, "Children are in danger", ordered the emergency last week.

The US politicians and media take a condescending attitude towards developing countries and their health situation, but now the nation's is threatened by an epidemic because of basic ignorance of science, and the people involved are not third world immigrants either.

When US Vice referred at the Security Council last week to the outbreak in as one of the reasons why should be ousted, Russia's Permanent ridiculed him.

He asked: "Did you know that the government of proclaimed an emergency situation regarding a epidemic that broke out in the vicinity of the - in Brooklyn?"

Many of those who oppose claim that the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) and other vaccines cause or other

Trashing the unscientific rumours, Barbot said: "As a pediatrician, I know the MMR vaccine is safe and effective."

The city took the unusual step of singling out a religious minority, the ultra-orthodox Jews, for the outbreak and designating the areas where they are concentrated for compulsory "Most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community," the said.

The pre-school programme that was shut down was at a yeshiva or religious school that was run by the ultra-orthodox Jewish community.

Although the city has singled out the ultra-orthodox Jewish community known as Hasidim, they are outnumbered all over the US by non-Jews in the anti-movement.

Paradoxically, many of those who claim that the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) and other vaccines cause or other and oppose are not the poor and illiterate, but the well-off.

"Higher income, White population and private school type significantly predicted greater increases in exemptions" from vaccinations, according to an article in the journal American Public Heath.

When Rockland County, which is across the from the city, ordered a state of emergency and banished unvaccinated minors from all public places last month, parents of children at a Christian institution, Green Meadow Waldorf School, were at the forefront of the protest.

They filed a case against the order in a federal court but a rejected their suit.

An article in the medical publication Cureus said that the conspiracy theories and unscientific views took flight on the and spread rapidly.

"The role of the to false anti-information just cannot be understated in examining the rise and spread of the anti-vaccination movement," it concluded.

(can be reached at and followed on Twitter @arulouis)



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 17 2019. 11:22 IST