A county in New York state declared a state of emergency after more than 100 people were diagnosed with measles.
Starting at 12 a.m. on March 27, anyone under the age of 18 who hasn’t been vaccinated will be barred from public places in Rockland County until getting the MMR vaccine—or until the state of emergency expires within 30 days, according to WABC.
It’s not clear how Rockland County officials will enforce the measure.
It comes after 151 cases of measles have been confirmed in Rockland County, which is located in New York City’s metropolitan area.
BREAKING: Rockland County is declaring of state of emergency Tuesday over the ongoing measles outbreak and barring unvaccinated minors from public places.
Officials said that high-risk groups include children under the age of 6 months, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, people who haven’t been vaccinated against measles, and people born before 1957 and have compromised immune systems.
“We continue to encourage everyone to be up-to-date with the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine to help protect them in case of any future exposure to measles in Rockland,” Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert said, WABC reported.
“Measles is highly contagious, so anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting the disease, and they may spread measles to people who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions.”
Many of the measles cases in New York state have been concentrated among children of Orthodox Jewish families, ABC News reported.
Many of the children attend religious schools, and the vaccination rates are below 95 percent, according to ABC.
How Many Cases in 2019?
So far, in 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 314 individual cases of measles across the United States as of March. The worst year since 2010 was 2014 when 667 cases were reported.
“The states that have reported cases to CDC are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington,” the agency said.
According to the CDC, an “outbreak” is defined as three or more cases in jurisdictions.
“These outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries such as Israel and Ukraine, where large measles outbreaks are occurring. Make sure you are vaccinated against measles before traveling internationally,” it said.
Measles is still common in countries all over the world, “including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa,” the CDC said.
The last major outbreak in the U.S. was in 2017 when 75 cases were reported in Minnesota in a “Somali-American community with poor vaccination coverage,” the agency stated.
Every state, Washington, and Puerto Rico have their own vaccine requirements to attend public school.
“As of July 18, 2018, all 50 states and DC require vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis; polio; measles and rubella (49 states and DC also require mumps vaccination); and the varicella (chickenpox) vaccination,” according to ProCon.org.
Another “43 states and DC require hepatitis B vaccination (Alabama, Illinois, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Texas do not) to enter kindergarten. Some states require Hib, PCV, flu, and Hep A vaccines to enter kindergarten. Connecticut is the only state to require nine vaccinations. Many states require more vaccines as the children age, for example West Virginia requires the meningitis vaccine at the CDC-recommended age (11-12 years old),” according to the outlet.