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Measles Outbreak Keeps Spreading in NY & NJ Jewish Communities

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As reported by Yeshiva World News, Dr. Jane R. Zucker, the Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Immunization said, on Thursday night, that there are now 34 confirmed cases of the measles in Brooklyn. Of those cases, 13 of them are located in Williamsburg, 20 in Boro Park and 1 in Bensonhurst. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In an alarming health threat, the NYC Health Department is warning that the number of confirmed cases of measles is still on the rise. As reported by Yeshiva World News, Dr. Jane R. Zucker, the Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Immunization said, on Thursday night, that there are now 34 confirmed cases of the measles in Brooklyn. Of those cases, 13 of them are located in Williamsburg, 20 in Boro Park and 1 in Bensonhurst. “Most of our patients are really very young”, said Dr. Zucker. “Besides for two cases being adults, the rest are all children under the age of five”.

“The vast majority of these cases were unvaccinated, and many of these children could have been vaccinated and this outbreak could have been prevented”, she continued. Health Department officials are worried that the disease is spreading in the Boro Park neighborhood. Dr. Zucker also said that the department suspects there may be many more cases that have not been properly reported.

The problem does not stop there. In Rockland County, Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announced that as of November 28, there were 83 confirmed cases of measles reported in the county. Moreover, the scope of the disease is not confined to one community in Rockland, rather it is widespread, affecting residents of Spring Valley, New Square, West Nyack and Monsey.

In Lakewood, NJ, the Ocean County Health Department told YWN, that there are now 18 confirmed measles cases, with 6 more possible cases under investigation. Patients are between the ages of 6 months and 59 years. The Ocean County Health Department continues to support the exclusion of non-vaccinated children from schools, preschools and daycares in the outbreak area.

In the City of Passaic, NJ, there are three confirmed cases of the measles, all from the same household. Those cases are being directly linked to the outbreak in Lakewood. The girls division of the Yeshiva Ktana of Passaic was closed last Wednesday after a student was diagnosed with the measles, said NJ state health officials. The student was one of the three confirmed cases, belonging to the aforementioned household.

It has already been publicized, that among many Rabbis, one of the leading Poskim in the world, Hagaon HaRav Moshe Shternbuch, the Rosh Yeshiva of BMG, published a letter saying it is a Halachic obligation for Jews to vaccinate. Further, when, the issue of vaccinations was discussed at the Agudah Convention at a panel with HaRav Elya Brudny and Harav Yosef Elefant, the Rabbis reaffirmed that Jewish law follows “the consensus of the medical profession”, that “the right thing is to vaccinate”.

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