Global measles cases 'up 300% year-on-year'

Doctor holds vaccine

Measles has been reported in 20 states this year, with notable outbreaks in NY and Washington. But when an worldwide traveler exposed to measles overseas brings the disease into the country, pockets of unvaccinated communities within the USA enable the disease to spread. So far in 2019, there have been 555 measles cases across 20 states.

The New York Health Department also announced Monday it shut down the United Talmudical Academy child care center for 3-5-year-olds in Williamsburg for refusing to - or being unable to - disclose vaccination and attendance records for students attending its center, a violation of the health commissioner's emergency order issued last week.

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared the city's outbreak a public health emergency last week and ordered unvaccinated people in the affected parts of Brooklyn to get the vaccine or face a fine.

NY health officials said the Brooklyn outbreak was caused by an unvaccinated child returning from a trip to Israel, which is also grappling with an outbreak.

Health officials in Rockland County, New York, tried to bar unvaccinated children from public places, but a judge prohibited the county from enforcing that rule.

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Millions of children have been immunised in Madagascar and the Philippines to curb the outbreaks.

Increasing vaccination coverage maximises a population's protection, the World Health Organization said.

"Most measles outbreaks in the U.S. stop sooner than this", she said. If the outbreaks aren't brought under control, public health experts worry that the cases in 2019 will hit a record almost two decades after measles's "elimination" in the United States.

"There is insufficient evidence of a measles epidemic or unsafe outbreak to justify the respondents' extraordinary measures, including forced vaccination", said the lawsuit, identifying the parents only by their initials. There have been 25 hospitalizations and of the six people who have been taken to the intensive care unit, two remained and were in stable condition. "This should not happen", said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and an adviser to the CDC on vaccines. These outbreaks should not be happening. We should not have active measles in the United States.

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