A New York county has declared a state of emergency and banned all unvaccinated children from public places amid a severe measles outbreak.
With anti-vaxxing movement on the rise, more and more people decide to skip on vaccinations that have already put an end to the contagious diseases, therefore allowing them to return and endanger the welfare of the public.
Amid an outbreak that so far resulted in over 150 confirmed cases of infection in less than 26 weeks, “Rockland County declared a countywide State of Emergency relating to the ongoing measles outbreak.”
According to the reports, “effective at the stroke of midnight, Wednesday, anyone who is under 18 years of age and unvaccinated against the measles will be barred from public places until this declaration expires in 30 days or until they receive the MMR vaccination.”
According to the authorities, individuals may be exempted from the ban if they are able to procure a record that proves they have a medical condition that prevents them from getting vaccinated.
“We believe this to be the first such effort of this kind nationally and the circumstances we face here clearly call for that,” Ed Day, Rockland County Executive, shared. “Rockland will lead the way in service and safety to the people here.”
As Day added, several unvaccinated travelers entered the county last year and contributed to spreading the disease.
“Last year, not just one but seven unvaccinated travelers diagnosed with measles entered our county between Oct. 1 and Oct. 17 leading to 153 confirmed cases,” he explained. “This is the longest outbreak in the U.S. due to measles since the disease was officially eradicated in 2000.”
While the county executive confirmed the authorities wouldn’t chase down unvaccinated people, he did explain that individuals found violating the ban could “spend six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.”
Speaking of the dangers of the anti-vaxx movement, which World Health Organization places among top modern threats to our health, the organization wrote:
“Vaccine hesitancy threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.”
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