The number of measles cases is growing by the day despite warnings from officials aimed at stopping the infection from spreading. The CDC reports that “555 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 20 states. This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000.” New York City officials have taken one of the boldest approaches to curb the spread of the disease. ABC News points out:
New York City followed through on its threat to fine people who refused to get measles vaccines on Thursday.
The city’s health department issued civil summons to three people a week after issuing an emergency order requiring anyone 6 months or older who lived in four specific zip codes — all in Brooklyn — to get the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine within 48 hours. Each person will be on the hook for a $1,000 fine
Passover is adding to concerns in New York City with. The Washington Post states:
A wave of measles cases has been traced to unvaccinated ultra-Orthodox children, who usually live in insular communities. When extended families get together during Passover, which begins Friday night, the chance for the disease to spread increases. And during the holiday, many families that usually keep the modern world at a distance go on public excursions.
“People will be out and about in spaces where they interact with people from the outside world,” said Meyer Labin, a writer for the Jewish publication JP News, who works down the street from the markets in Borough Park. “We’re fearful it’s going to spread.”
Meanwhile, a flight attendant who reportedly received a measles vaccine as a child is now suffering from the disease. CBS writes:
An El Al Airlines flight attendant is now in a coma and battling encephalitis after contracting measles. Israel’s Ministry of Health says she may have contracted the disease in New York, in Israel, or on a flight between the two.
The 43-year-old woman was seemingly healthy before coming down with a fever March 31, CBS New York reports. Due to complications from measles that resulted in brain inflammation, she’s now been in a coma for 10 days and needs a respirator because she can’t breathe on her own.
Health.com adds, “in rare cases, you can still get measles even if you’ve gotten the vaccine. Some outlets have reported that the flight attendant may have been only partially vaccinated, meaning she got one dose of the measles vaccine instead of the recommended two doses.”