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A woman with her baby in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on April 9 (Image source: Reuters)
A woman with her baby in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on April 9 (Image source: Reuters)

Public health emergency declared in Brooklyn amidst measles outbreak

ANI | Updated: Apr 09, 2019 23:15 IST

New York [USA], Apr 9 (ANI): A public health emergency has been declared in Williamsburg here due to a measles outbreak, with 300 cases being recorded until now, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"We are declaring a public health emergency in Williamsburg due to 300 cases of measles reported in our city -- primarily concentrated in Brooklyn. There is no room for misinformation when it comes to protecting our children. Vaccines are safe and effective. They work," the Mayor tweeted on Tuesday.
"Today, I am declaring a public health emergency due to the measles outbreak. @nycHealthy is ordering all people in Williamsburg to get vaccinated against measles," the Commissioner of the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Oxiris Barbot, tweeted on Tuesday.
"We are in the midst of a #measles outbreak. People in violation of our order to get vaccinated against measles will get a violation and could be fined $1,000 per instance," she added during a presser.
Even though Measles was completely eradicated in the United States, the latest outbreak is largely being blamed on anti-vaxxers, who have not gotten their children vaccinated against such diseases.
"We’ve worked closely with the community, religious leaders, and schools to make sure vulnerable people are kept safe during this outbreak and to challenge the dangerous misinformation being spread by a group of anti-vaxxers," the commissioner added.
She highlighted that while young children and people who have weakened immune systems cannot get vaccinated, it’s crucial that everyone around them is vaccinated in order to shield them from the infection.
"I know that parents may be afraid of getting their child vaccinated, but as a paediatrician, I know that getting vaccinated is far safer than getting measles. The vaccine has been proven safe and effective in preventing the spread of measles for decades and we have evidence," she also said.
"We urge everyone who can get vaccinated to get vaccinated. As Passover is coming up, it’s important that all New Yorkers get vaccinated, especially if they plan to travel overseas to Europe or Israel, or to areas in the US that are experiencing large outbreaks," she added during Tuesday's presser.
Since September 2018, around 300 cases of measles have been documented amongst the people living in Williamsburg, and authorities have said that the "numbers continue to grow."
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can result in serious health complications, such as pneumonia and swelling of the brain. About a third of reported measles cases have at least one complication and in some cases, measles can cause death. (ANI)