A public health emergency has been declared in New York in the US due to a growing outbreak of measles. In Williamsburg, where there have been 285 cases since September, health authorities have ordered mandatory vaccines.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 465 measles cases in the US since the start of the year, and 78 in the last week alone. The cause is not being helped by anti-vaxxers, with around 1,800 children believed to be unvaccinated.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “We are declaring a public health emergency in Williamsburg due to the 300 cases of measles reported in our city — primarily concentrated in Brooklyn. There's no room for misinformation when it comes to protecting our children. Vaccines are safe and effective. They work.”
Unvaccinated children in the zip codes of 11205, 11206, 11211 and 11249 are banned from school or day-care for the duration of the outbreak and parents who choose not to vaccinate have been warned that they will be fined. “We have to protect our kids and our families,” de Blasio said.