New York is fighting its worst outbreak of measles in decades

New York is fighting its worst outbreak of measles in decades

Jan 08 2019

At Clarkstown Pediatrics in Nanuet, New York, babies are on an accelerated measles vaccination schedule, getting their first shots six months early and their second dose right away.

It’s part of a statewide effort to stop several outbreaks of measles from turning into an epidemic. The state has had 167 cases of the highly infectious virus since September, making it the worst year for measles since the 1990s.

Pockets of unvaccinated children have provided fertile ground for the measles virus to take hold. Although measles was eliminated in the U.S. the virus has been brought back by travelers to Israel, which has been battling an epidemic of measles for months. The victims: mostly members of close-knit Orthodox Jewish communities across the state.

“It’s a clear and present danger right here in our community,” said Dr. Douglas Puder, a pediatrician at Clarkstown Pediatrics. His practice is right in the middle of the biggest outbreak, in New York’s Rockland County. Last week, the county reported 105 cases of measles since the fall. More than 80 percent on average had not been vaccinated and just three cases had received both recommended doses of measles vaccine.

Source: NBC News NBC News