NY officials say that the outbreak in the ultra-Orthodox community began when individuals contracted the illness while visiting United Kingdom, the Ukraine, which has a huge outbreak and Israel, which also has a large outbreak.
Overall vaccination rates remain high, but the percentage of kids under 2 who haven't gotten their shots is growing, according to the Centers for Disease Control. People who haven't received the measles vaccine or don't have evidence of immunity could be fined up to $1,000. They said those living in zip codes 11205, 11206, 11211, and 11249 now have to be vaccinated against measles.
New York City has declared a public health emergency over a measles outbreak and ordered mandatory vaccinations for some people who may have been exposed to the virus. "I urge everyone to get vaccinated". Peter Hotez, Professor of Pediatrics and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Texas's Baylor College of Medicine, told Buzzfeed News he's aware of anti-vaxxers phoning members of the community to spread the false information that vaccines cause autism, helping the disease to spread.
The order concerns all people living or working in four zip codes of Williamsburg, northwest Brooklyn, where some residents oppose vaccines on religious grounds - although neither Jewish texts nor local Jewish authorities advise against vaccination.
The health commissioner said that "nearly all" measles cases in New York City have been associated with the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, and the outbreak is the largest since 1991. Now any school out of compliance will immediately be issued a violation and could be subject to closure.
The Mayor's office said there have been more than 250 cases of measles diagnosed in the neighborhood since September.
The vast majority of the city's cases are children under 18 years of age. Most of these measles cases were unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated individuals.
At a news conference, Dr Barbot said, of the 285 reported cases, 21 patients have been hospitalised and five had been admitted to an intensive care unit.
Complications from measles include bronchitis, pneumonia, encephalitis and serious pregnancy problems.
"It's crucial for people to understand the measles vaccine works", de Blasio continued.
Measles cases are on the rise in New Jersey and just across the state line in NY. While healthy adults may be able to survive when stricken with the viral disease, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems may be at greater risk.
The mandate orders all unvaccinated people in the area, including a concentration of ultra-Orthodox Jews, to receive inoculations, including for children as young as six months old. Full vaccination is 97% effective at preventing measles. "Specifically, for the Measles Mumps Rubella vaccines which are now in use, we ensured that all doses planned have been procured, despite inflation of vaccine costs".