Eight measles cases reported in New York's Westchester County

Laverne Higgins
April 12, 2019

A recent measles outbreak in NY and other states has left scientists wondering if the disease was ever truly vanquished. Close monitoring, plus education and outreach to further boost vaccination rates, are what now make sense for the Garden State, he and others said Wednesday.

Anyone who has not been vaccinated in Westchester may call the health department for a free injection - 914-995-5800 for an appointment. Officials said the children all appear to have been exposed to measles in Rockland County or Brooklyn. Since Sept 30, the area has produced 285 measles cases, city officials said at a news conference on Tuesday, including 246 children.

In the face of this crisis, schools in Washington and NY are keeping unvaccinated children out of classes, and Rockland County executive Ed May declared that they should be barred from all public places in the county.

David R. Curry, executive director of the Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy, told China Daily: "Once your child is exposed and has measles, there is no better convincing argument to parents who may be questioning whether vaccinations work than when they have to come to grips with the fact that their child, because they were unvaccinated, suddenly has a potentially unsafe disease". This is a disease that killed 110,000 people worldwide in 2017, and is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in the world. "They have experience gaining people's trust".

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported at least 465 individual cases of measles in 19 states in the past three and a half months.

Science has proven time and time again that immunizations are the safest way to prevent some of the scariest diseases out there-and that they have absolutely no connection to autism.

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At least 90 percent of the public should be vaccinated to properly protect the community at large, he said. However, vaccination gives a 93 to 97 percent chance of immunity, which is what initially led the country to declare the disease as void.

But many parents have legitimate questions about the impact of these shots, dozens of which are required in the first year of life, explained Sarah Lane, a doctor of osteopathy and leader with the New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice, which opposed the bill to end religious exemptions. Since it has affected children too, this is now a serious concern. People can spread measles before they even know they are sick.

Public health is important, Lane continued, but it shouldn't restrict someone's ability to refuse medical treatment.

Following the ban, parents of unvaccinated children filed two cases in New York State Supreme Court to repeal the ban.

De Blasio's plan is a "complete overstep of a government agency", Lane added.

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