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21 Measles Cases Found at Single Yeshiva in Bklyn; Vaccinations Urged by Health Dept

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One single Brooklyn yeshiva was responsible for 21 of the 31 new measles cases occurring last month, according to officials. The New York Post reports that now 121 people have been affected since the first known outbreak last October, with 108 of the people aged less than 18 years old. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Don’t skip out on vaccinations and other medical advice from your doctors, is the biggest takeaway from measles outbreaks occurring in some of New York’s Orthodox Jewish communities. The contagious pathogen can be effectively eradicated with proper vaccination and herd immunity, but on the other end of that extreme is the fact that one single Brooklyn yeshiva was responsible for 21 of the 31 new measles cases occurring last month, according to officials. The New York Post reports that now 121 people have been affected since the first known outbreak last October, with 108 of the people aged less than 18 years old, though nobody has yet to succumb to the illness with death.

The Health Department fingered the yeshiva, serving as a ground zero for 21 measles cases, but which school it was has yet to be identified publicly. Officials speaking to the New York Post said that this one yeshiva didn’t seem to follow the rules put into place a few months ago that would have forbidden anyone without the required vaccinations from setting foot in a yeshiva in order to prevent a potential outbreak, like the one that happened in this unnamed Brooklyn yeshiva.

According to a press release that was put out by the Health Department, “this yeshiva went out of compliance with the Health Department’s exclusion order in mid-January, allowing an un-vaccinated student who had measles but had not yet begun presenting symptoms” to show up for classes. If left untreated, measles could develop further complications that could even lead to death or other serious illnesses.

Vaccinating children with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine will make them immune, and when nearly everyone is inoculated, there’s strong herd immunity. The idea behind herd immunity is that if almost everyone is incapable of contracting a certain pathogen, then the whole community is effectively vaccinated. While everyone should get vaccinated if they can, some people can’t, like very young babies, and they rely on the rest of us to vaccinate so that there’s no way preventable diseases spread.

The scientific evidence overwhelming shows the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, and any supposed links between vaccine and autism have no basis in reality. This long-debunked misinformation comes from one study published in The Lancet by a man named Andrew Wakefield in 1998. Once the study was reviewed more, it was found to have flawed and dishonest methodologies. The well-respected medical journal eventually retracted the entire article.

There has been a widespread effort to try and educate the most vulnerable communities about the importance of vaccinations, and already more than 7,000 got vaccines.

“As a pediatrician, I can’t stress enough how critical is to vaccinate children against measles,” Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said. Signs of a measles infection could include fever and watery eyes. When in doubt, go to the emergency room.

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