Measles cases triple globally, Africa worst affected

Brooklyn yeshivas continue to defy de Blasio’s public measles vaccination order 44 new cases diagnosed since mayor’s emergency order to immunize

Brooklyn yeshivas continue to defy de Blasio’s public measles vaccination order 44 new cases diagnosed since mayor’s emergency order to immunize

This now brings the total number of measles cases in the area in the last month to six.

The agency said actual numbers may be far greater, since only one in 10 cases globally are reported.

Outbreaks have also hit Brazil, Pakistan and Yemen, "causing many deaths - mostly among young children", while a spike in case numbers was reported for countries including the U.S. and Thailand with high levels of vaccination coverage. World Health Organization says its Africa region had the biggest rise in cases in the last three months compared with the same time previous year - a 700% increase.

Increasing the coverage of vaccination maximizes protection, but 95 percent vaccination coverage is needed to prevent outbreaks, according to WHO.

At least 800 children have died from measles since September in Madagascar, where rampant malnutrition and a historically poor vaccine rate are driving the world's worse current outbreak. Ukraine, the Philippines and Brazil had the biggest increase in numbers.

The United Talmudical Academy in the Haredi neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn failed to "provide access to medical and attendance records", the health department said, which made it impossible to check whether the school has been excluding staff and students who aren't vaccinated against measles. Not only are anti-vax folks causing deaths, but they are also costing you some money. It kills around 100,000 people, mostly children, every year. "To know the financial cost of this but also to know all the work that is not getting done, or getting backlogged".

In the lawsuit, the mothers claim that the outbreak does not constitute a risky epidemic (though the virus can cause severe complications and even death) and that the city's orders are "arbitrary and capricious".

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"Australians travel a lot and no matter how well we control measles in Australia, if the world isn't controlling it as well, we will always have people coming back with it", she adds.

In any case, while the outbreak is believed to have originated among New York's Orthodox Jewish community, the vast majority of rabbis and others there are strongly pro-vaccine-with the Times and BuzzFeed News pointing instead in part to a dedicated fringe group of antivaxxers, backed by national antivax organisations, targeting ultra-Orthodox Jews with fliers and handbooks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that outbreak took 3,650 work hours, 4,800 phone calls, and 5,500 miles of trips to find and contain the outbreak.

Another case in 2008 caused an outbreak of measles in two Tucson hospitals.

Both YouTube and Facebook have made a decision to begin quieting the voices of the anti-vaccination movement.

But anti-vaccine parents have, in step, filed legal challenges to many of those efforts, arguing, as the mothers have, that measles is not unsafe (it is), the vaccine is risky (it isn't), and that the measures violate personal freedoms.

The pair wrote that it was "understandable, in such a climate, how loving parents can feel lost" but that "ultimately, there is no "debate" to be had about the profound benefits of vaccines". Is it something to be concerned about?

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