Six kids in Brooklyn diagnosed with measles

Six children below the age of 5 were diagnosed with measles in Brooklyn, health officials said Wednesday. Five of those children had yet to be vaccinated because they were under a year old or had had their immunizations delayed, and one had not yet developed immunity to the measles after being inoculated. Controlling the spread of the measles is almost impossible said one specialist in infectious disease who spoke to Haaretz on condition of anonymity. With the current outbreak, doctors in some areas have been vaccinating children as young as six months old to prevent the spread of measles which is highly contagious and can cause severe complications, including death.

Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. In the pre-vaccine era, roughly 6,000 measles deaths were reported in the USA each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The DOH recommends that all children receive the MMR vaccine at age 12 months, with a second dose at age four to six.

Before the measles vaccine was available, more than 500,000 cases were diagnosed in the United States every year, with about 500 annual deaths.

As of September 8, 137 cases of measles have been confirmed in 24 states and the District of Columbia, the CDC says. Five acquired measles during travel to Israel, and two were infected after an exposure to a person with measles.

According to Rockland County spokesman John Lyon, the most important issue at this point to make sure that everyone is up-to-date on their vaccinations.

The other six patients have secondary cases, meaning they became sick after being exposed to one of the primary patients.

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Overseas, a Jerusalem outbreak of the measles has health officials extremely anxious, with 213 cases reported in September, more than half the total number of cases reported in 2018.

Patricia Schnabel Ruppert said due to additional cases of measles from worldwide travelers to Rockland, more people potentially have been exposed to measles.

While not as deadly as now-eradicated smallpox, which looks similar to measles in its early stage, many do not realize how serious measles can be.

The initial case started after a child traveled to Brooklyn from Israel, where a large outbreak is occurring.

In all states except for California, Mississippi and West Virginia, parents may opt out of required vaccines for their children on religious grounds or personal beliefs.

The Health Department held a meeting in Williamsburg Thursday with rabbis and elected officials to raise awareness about the disease and how to protect children against it.

'Although measles is preventable, too many families are choosing to not vaccinate or delay vaccination, putting their children and other children at risk, ' acting Health Commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot told NBC4.

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