Rise in measles cases in NYC linked to unvaccinated children

WILLIAMSBURG -- An alarming rise in measles cases in NYC is being linked to unvaccinated children, according to the NYC Department of Health.

Since the start of the 2019, there have been 121 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn and Queens. Most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community. There are 29 additional cases in Williamsburg in the past week alone, most of them connected to one yeshiva.

“The clusters are always in unvaccinated populations where children don’t receive vaccines because their parents don’t want them to for various reasons,” said Dr. Len Horovitz, internist and pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital.

While the majority of measles cases within the city has been clustered in the Orthodox Jewish community, there have been outbreaks nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control confirm 206 cases in 11 states.

“Spread is more common in winter because we’re in close quarters and not outside as much,” said Dr. Horovitz. “You can go into space where someone who measles has coughed and you can get in just by walking through that space.”

Measles is a highly-contagious, airborne virus that easily spreads through coughing and sneezing.

According to the CDC, symptoms of measles generally don't appear until 7 to 14 days after a person is infected, and begin with high fever, cough, runny nose, and rash spots.

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