Worst measles outbreak in decades sweeps New York as cases surge in Oregon, Washington and abroad

  • At least 160 people in New York have been infected with measles
  • One in 20 children that get the highly-contagious virus develop pneumonia, and one to two per 1,000 die
  • The disease can only be prevented by vaccination
  • Over 90 percent of babies in the US are vaccinated
  • But people of certain religions and ideologies sometimes refuse to get their children vacccinated
  • In New York, the infection is spreading primarily among Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County


PUBLISHED: 10:51 EST, 8 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:08 EST, 8 January 2019


Cases of measles have reached a 20-year high in several New York counties amid an outbreak that threatens to reach epidemic proportions, experts say.

At least 160 people have been infected by the virus, which typically strikes children, in New York and unusual outbreaks have been reported internationally.

The worst affected areas so far are Rockland County - where 105 cases have been reported - and an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, where at least 55 have been infected.

Meanwhile, 25 other states have reported outbreaks, with numbers climbing particularly high in Oregon and Washington.

A body-covering red splotchy rash is the tell-tale sign of the measles infection that has struck at least 160 people in New York - and outbreaks have been reported in Oregon and Washington

A body-covering red splotchy rash is the tell-tale sign of the measles infection that has struck at least 160 people in New York - and outbreaks have been reported in Oregon and Washington

Measles is only preventable by vaccination, and health officials in the worst affected areas are scrambling to speed up shots schedules in the most blighted areas.

Among other countries, Israel has seen a recent resurgence in measles.

In October, the sudden uptick in cases in New York City was linked to an unvaccinated traveler from Israel.

Though the details of the Oregon and Washington cases have not been released as publicly, the Washington outbreak was traced to an unvaccinated child who had traveled to the state from another country.

The measles vaccine was introduced in the US in 1963 and, ever since, the virus has been a minimal threat.

But among those not inoculated against it, measles is among the most contagious diseases in the world and can be life-threatening.

Measles often begins with a fever, sore throat, runny nose and cough but there are a few tell-tale signs of the infection.

Eventually, a rash composed of large red blotches materializes, first on the face, spreading until it eventually covers the whole body.

As the infection worsens, complications can include diarrhea, lung infections and brain swelling.

Some one in 20 children that contract measles develop pneumonia, making it highly dangerous to young kids.


Most people will recover from measles within one or two weeks, but complications can develop.

People most at risk of complications include teenagers and adults, babies younger than one year old, and children with a weakened immune system.

Common complications include diarrhoea and vomiting, a middle-ear or eye infection, laryngitis, fits caused by a fever, and lung infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis and croup.

About one in every 15 infected children will develop one of these.

Less common complications include hepatitis, meningitis and a brain infection called encephalitis.

Rare complications include serious eye disorders which can lead to vision loss, heart and nervous system problems, and a fatal brain infection called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis – this is very rare and only happens in one in every 25,000 cases.

Having measles during pregnancy increases the risk of the baby having a low birth weight, premature birth, or stillbirth or miscarriage.

Source: NHS Choices

Fortunately, the vast majority of children in the US and developed nations are protected against the virus by the combined measles mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR).

Babies are supposed to get the shot in two doses. The first dose should be given between the first 12 and 15 months of life, and the second between ages four and six, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations.

As of May 2017, the CDC estimated that about 91 percent of children under three had received at least their first dose of the MMR shot.

In recent years, however, there has been a growing - though largely unfounded - movement against vaccinations.

Some populations have a longer history of reticence against shots.

Some members of both the Amish and Orthodox Jewish faiths believe that their religions’ edicts, histories or some combinations of the two prohibit them from getting their children vaccinated.

One of the arguments made by Orthodox Jews is that if a dangerous disease becomes rare - thanks to high rates of vaccination among the general population, typically - then getting shots for their children may do more ‘harm’ than good and thus be against Orthodox Jewish law.

But in 2013, for example, a measles outbreak struck the neighborhood of Williamsburg in New York City’s Brooklyn borough. The 58 infections were contained entirely in the Orthodox Jewish community there.

The outbreaks that have emerged in recent months have followed a similar pattern.

One unvaccinated child from Brooklyn reportedly traveled to Israel, contracted the virus, then returned to its home in New York and spread the infection to other unvaccinated kids in the community.

In Oregon, there has been a moderate influx of Orthodox Jews (particularly in Portland). However, it is less clear what is fueling the outbreaks there or in Washington.

There has been some increase in the number of children not getting vaccines, but the majority of the population in both states is still protected.

Rockland County, New York, is home to a number of all-Orthodox villages and the population of Orthodox Jews has been growing rapidly throughout the area in recent years.

John Lyon, spokesperson for the Rockland County Health Department said that the outbreak has struck unvaccinated communities there.

‘We’re making some progress, but this is one of the most contagious diseases out there in unvaccinated populations,’ he told Daily Mail Online.

So far, the county has given over 11,000 vaccinations to children there, but is still struggling to contain the virus’s rapid spread.

Government healthcare could prevent this, ROTFLMAO>


New York needs California’s Governor, Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown to kick its anti vaxxers in the teeth.

God I love that man!


Law abolishes exemptions for personal beliefs - this sounds completely unconstitutional to me. Too bad there aren’t any conservatives in California anymore to challenge it :rofl:


Measles is highly contagious and in years past has been a problem on U S college campuses.

Would anyone like to try signing up for some college courses without showing evidence of innoculation or immunity status?

Nursing programs may require Heptovax B Series for admittance. The state of Rhode Island requires its health care professionals to either get a flu shot or wear a mask as they are bound to have contact with immune suppressed patients to whom flu can be fatal.

Where in any state or federal Constitution am I allowed beliefs to the point they directly harm my neighbors or their families?


When I went to college they wouldn’t let me enroll without providing a record of my vaccinations. I guess this requirement is not applicable to illegals.


Get use to it as Americans have taken to the anti vac campaign. This is just the beginning as more unvaccinated people enter the US.


Actually it’s where in the federal Constitution is the federal allowed to decide which views or beliefs of peaceable citizens are harmful?

This is one reason why we should restrict all immigration of certain sorts of persons, for at least that is lawful for the federal to do.



May I see the evidence that immigrants are unvaccinated?


Again, may I please see the evidence that immigrants are unvaccinated?

And did you read Lou’s article on just how sick measles make young children in particular?

Now where in the U S or any state Constitutions are we given the right not necessarily for beliefs, but behaviors originating from those beliefs that harm our neighbors?


Actually, I was speaking generally. The federal government has no delegated authority over private persons or entities in this matter among the several States. No authority to say which views are or are not legitimate among citizens … which is why I think we should prevent those with views or beliefs hostile to our civilization (communism/socialism or Islam come to mind) from even entering the country.

As for migrants, I’d love a 10 year holiday from all immigration in addition to deporting all illegal aliens.

We need a reset.


As for the affected group—largely Ultra-Orthodox, or Hasidic Jews, often their behavior is more similar to secular welfare recipients than that of any immigrants, legal or otherwise.

Here is a link not to modern Orthodox, but Ultra Orthodox and their anti vaxxer caused epidemic:

Coming in a minute is a link to their welfare percentage in the U S population. This is the same group in Israel that gets out of military and studies in yeshivas all day. The immigrants bashed on this page regularly are more productive, and more secular & Modern Orthodox Jews generally don’t refuse to vaccinate their kids or go on welfare.


Here is this religious community and welfare benefits:

As I said, the immigrants regularly targeted here are more productive.


Those welfare programs aren’t among the powers delegated to the federal either.

If the States of New York or California wants their state welfare programs they can have them. And all the sponges that come with them.


Nice cherrypick.

May I see the data that covers all illegals? Not just those from Honduras, Guatamala, and El Salvador?


One argument against allowing the particular Ultra Orthodox Community to choose to not vaccinate their children, thus posing a hazard to children who are too young or otherwise unfit to vaccinate, is this—they are at the mercy of the taxpayers for their existence, thus should not get a choice in such a matter.


Here’s your world immunization statistics.


I disagree.
No vaccination then no entry to schools and other establishments where there are vulnerable citizens.


How many welfare programs offer unlimited choices?

What can be purchased with benefits transferred onto an EBT card may even be restricted in some states.

Making them vaccinate their children would simply be stripping them of one more choice.



Yet, it only takes one unvaccinated to infect vulnerable citizens outside of schools.

Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate. She looks for the weakest link.


I couldn’t give a rats ass if they “feel” stripped of choice when their poor choices in life endanger me and mine.