The new cases were reported a day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced mandatory MMR vaccinations for everyone living in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood - in one of the toughest measures against an outbreak in U.S. history. People who refuse the vaccine or who refuse to get their children vaccinated could be fined, though de Blasio said he hoped to avoid levying any fines. He also said schools in certain areas that permitted attendance by unvaccinated students could be fined or temporarily closed.
At a time when Rockland County is attempting to get a grip on the measles epidemic and efforts to convince unvaccinated residents to get the MMR shots, new cases of the virus have been confirmed in adjacent counties.
Indeed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was quick to declare the city's action "legally questionable" and "a serious First Amendment issue" - though his failure to suggest any practical alternative suggests this was mostly his usual automatic dumping-on-de Blasio. "And they may spread measles to people who can not get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions".
Eight people have contracted measles in New York's Westchester County as health officials fear the outbreak is spilling across the state. "It is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested".
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According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 465 measles cases in the US since the start of the year, and 78 in the last week alone. But she said that in her work as a mental health care provider, she has lately seen an increase in cases of autism.
Nor is the city alone in recognizing the problem: Rockland County last month banned the unvaccinated from public spaces for 30 days.
Authorities will carry out the order by interviewing Williamsburg residents who have been diagnosed with measles and then interviewing everyone who those people have come in contact with.
Coffey added that, while it is important to accept others' opinions and let them make their own choices, people should be informed of the health risks associated with remaining unvaccinated.
A recent measles outbreak in NY and other states has left scientists wondering if the disease was ever truly vanquished. He said that most things that happen in Jewish communities get blown out of proportion, "If it [the outbreak] was true, there would be signs outside every synagogue telling people not to go in, and there aren't". In response, anti-vaccination protesters have begun wearing yellow stars, claiming that rules based on vaccination status are analogous to the inhumane treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.