The New York Health Department has ordered the closure of two more Jewish schools for failing to comply with the city’s emergency measures to prevent the measles outbreak. This brings the total count to 12 schools that have been closed by the NYS Health Department.
The two schools are located in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where the majority of the 588 cases of measles already confirmed since last October have been found.
The NYS Health Department declared a state of emergency on April 9th upon the most concentrated area in an attempt to halt the outbreak of the disease that requires adults and children over the age of six to be vaccinated within 48 hours. Failure to comply would result in citations being issued, and people who resist vaccination would be fined up to $1,000. So far, authorities have issued 122 citations.
On May 13th, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 839 cases of measles n a total of 23 states. This is the highest number of reported cases in the country since measles became eradicated in 2000. The last time there was such a high number of cases was in in 1994, when an outbreak affected 963 people.
Seventy-eight percent of the cases so far are concentrated in the Jewish community of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. A total of 40 people have had to be hospitalized, which 11 of them are in the intensive care unit.
Right now there is a false perception going around that Orthodox Jews do not vaccinate.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The majority of Orthodox Jewish children are vaccinated, according to statistics released by the health departments of New York State and New York City. There is no religious reason for not getting vaccinated and leading rabbis in New York have called on their faithful to vaccinate their children.