New York City Declares Public Health Emergency Over Measles Outbreak

April 10, 2019

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New York City mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency on Tuesday amid the city's largest measles outbreak in decades. The New York Times reports that there have been 285 confirmed measles cases since the city's outbreak began in the fall. To combat the contagious infection--which is largely affecting children under the age of 18 and Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn--the Mayor's declaration "would require unvaccinated individuals living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to receive the measles vaccine," the Times reports. "The mayor said the city would issue violations and possibly fines of $1,000 for those who did not comply." While the outbreak began in October, most new cases have occurred in the last two months. City officials blame the infection's spread on "a small group of anti-vaxxers" who "have been spreading dangerous misinformation based on fake science."