MEASLES IN NEW YORK STATE – SHOULD THOSE VACCINATED BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T?
A measles outbreak has it New York State putting both religious and non-religious at risk. It has been linked to International travelers, traveling between Israel and the United States. Israel has a strict policy regarding vaccinating children. With socialized medicine largely the norm, there is a requirement before attending school that children be vaccinated and their regimen is stricter than that of the United States. They include vaccinations that we do not have on our protocols. But within the ultra-Orthodox communities, both in Israel and the United States, the requirements for entering schools (religious Yeshivas) is different. Likely – the policy of vaccinations is not enforced.
But if you take this to its logical conclusion, what’s next? A Polio Outbreak? Or… Whooping cough… or any number of other possible diseases that are preventable.
LostMessiah is well aware that there is a movement of people who do not believe in vaccinating their children either because of the dangers of Autism, or other disorders allegedly associated with vaccines. While we may not agree, we are not having that debate.
But, a vaccine only works if a statistical percentage of people within a community are vaccinated. Therefore, for each one person that does not vaccinate, a statistical number of people must be willing to “sacrifice” their kids for the better good. Otherwise, no one is safe. In other words, people who choose to not vaccinate are relying on those who choose to vaccinate to keep their own children safe. That is the problem, whether by conscientious objector or ignorance we find not vaccinating children to be reprehensible. A parent choosing not to vaccinate his or her child is forcing that obligation on others to keep everyone safe. We have a problem with that.
Within the ultra-Orthodox community, failure to vaccinate appears to be borne of ignorance not some fundamental ideological belief against vaccinations and the policy of enforcing vaccinations by State guidelines is largely ingored in the yeshiva system. Moreover, when the problem needs to be resolved, those uneducated must rely on those educated and outside of their community to control the damage. If you are not going to educate yourselves and your children and teach the importance of vaccinations, we almost think you should shut your gates, quarantine your residents and figure out how to fix the problem yourselves, without State financial assistance and without state intervention.
New Cases Linked to International Travelers
State Working with County and Community to Identify Potential Exposures, Provide Vaccine, Prevent Further Spread
ALBANY, N.Y. (October 16, 2018) – The New York State Department of Health today announced that additional measles cases linked to international travelers returning from Israel have been confirmed in Rockland County.
Like many European countries and parts of the world, Israel is currently experiencing a high number of measles cases. In the most recent data compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO), 339 cases have been reported in Israel from March through August of 2018.
To help prevent secondary cases of measles, the state Department of Health is working with the Rockland County Department of Health and Refuah Health Center to identify those potentially exposed and provide information on the importance of vaccination.
A measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine clinic for those who are not immune to measles will be held on Thursday, October 18, from 4:30 p.m. 6:30 at the Community Outreach Center located 21 Remsen Avenue in Monsey.
In addition to supporting the county by providing MMR vaccine, the state Department of Health is testing samples at its Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany, and assisting with community outreach and contact investigations. This includes working with the Rockland County Department of Health to identify unvaccinated students at any impacted schools, and taking the appropriate actions to minimize the risk to other students.
For those who believe they may have been exposed and have further questions, a toll-free hotline has been established: 1-888-364-4837. The hotline is available Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of MMR vaccine, have had measles, or have a laboratory test result confirming immunity. Individuals who are not immune to measles and were exposed are at risk for developing measles. Preventive treatment for measles is recommended for those without evidence of immunity as follows: MMR vaccine can be given to eligible exposed individuals within 72 hours of exposure OR immune globulin can be administered within 6 days of exposure.
All individuals who think they may have been exposed to measles, particularly those without immunity or who are not sure if they have been vaccinated, should contact their health care provider if they develop measles symptoms. Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days after exposure.
To prevent the spread of illness, the Department is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people. People first develop a fever, then may have a cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by appearance of a rash. People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.
The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals should receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be fully protected. If a person is unsure if they are immune they should contact their healthcare provider. Typically, the first dose of MMR vaccine should be given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose should be given at four to six years of age (age of school entry), although individuals may also be vaccinated later in life. In New York State, measles immunization is required of children enrolled in schools, daycare, and pre-kindergarten. Since August 1990, college students have also been required to demonstrate immunity against measles.
More information about measles can be found at https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170.pdf.