New York county declares measles outbreak emergency


27th March, 2019 02:40:37 printer

New York county declares measles outbreak emergency


A county in New York state has declared a state of emergency following a severe outbreak of measles.


Rockland County, on the Hudson river north of New York City, has barred unvaccinated children from public spaces after 153 cases were confirmed.


Violating the order will be punishable by a fine of $500 (£378) and up to six months in prison.


The announcement follows other outbreaks of the disease in Washington, California, Texas and Illinois.


Vaccination rates have dropped steadily in the US with many parents objecting for philosophical or religious reasons, or because they believe misleading information that vaccines cause autism in children.


The outbreak in Rockland County is largely concentrated in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, the New York Times reported. It is believed it could have spread from other predominantly ultra-Orthodox areas around New York which have already seen outbreaks of measles


In the UK, the government is seeking new legislation to force social media companies to remove content promoting false information about vaccines.


There were more than 82,500 cases in Europe in 2018 - the highest number in a decade and three times the total reported in 2017.


The World Health Organization has declared the anti-vaccine movement to be one of the top global health threats for 2019.