Measles Outbreak 2019: New York Declares Emergency and Bans Unvaccinated Kids From Public Places

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Unvaccinated people under age 18 are banned from public places in Rockland County, New York, as of midnight Wednesday, according to John Lyon, director of strategic communications for County Executive Ed Day.

Nexter.org explains why measles is very dangerous, what are the symptoms and how to protect yourself and your family.

Emergency state in New York

measles-symptoms-treatment-photo

Source: Getty Images

 

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 and up to six months in prison.

“We’re not punishing the people who are doing the right thing already and following the rules. We just want to encourage everyone to do the right thing so we can stop this outbreak,” Lyon said. The step is “extremely unusual. [We] don’t believe it’s been done anywhere in the country before.”

“State law gives health departments authority to broadly implement control measures in response to outbreaks,” Jason McDonald, a spokesman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in an email, noting that the CDC provides technical assistance to state and local health departments.

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

measles-symptoms-treatment-photo

Source: Getty Images

 

How to protect

Since the introduction of the measles vaccine, measles has virtually been eliminated in the United States, even though not everyone has been vaccinated. However, 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.

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.

measles-symptoms-treatment-photo

Symptoms of measles

Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that is usually regarded as primarily a childhood illness, but can affect people of any age.

Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children and can cause serious health complications, including damage to the lungs and brain. Measles signs and symptoms appear around 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

measles-symptoms-treatment-photo

Signs and symptoms of measles typically include:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek — also called Koplik’s spots
  • A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another
  • The infection occurs in sequential stages over a period of two to three weeks.

Infection and incubation. For the first 10 to 14 days after you’re infected, the measles virus incubates. You have no signs or symptoms of measles during this time.

Nonspecific signs and symptoms. Measles typically begins with a mild to moderate fever, often accompanied by a persistent cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis) and sore throat. This relatively mild illness may last two or three days.

Acute illness and rash. The rash consists of small red spots, some of which are slightly raised. Spots and bumps in tight clusters give the skin a splotchy red appearance. The face breaks out first.

Over the next few days, the rash spreads down the arms and trunk, then over the thighs, lower legs and feet. At the same time, the fever rises sharply, often as high as 104 to 105.8 F (40 to 41 C). The measles rash gradually recedes, fading first from the face and last from the thighs and feet.

Communicable period. A person with measles can spread the virus to others for about eight days, starting four days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days.


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Measles Outbreak 2019: New York Declares Emergency and Bans Unvaccinated Kids From Public Places
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Measles Outbreak 2019: New York Declares Emergency and Bans Unvaccinated Kids From Public Places
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Unvaccinated people under age 18 are banned from public places in Rockland County, New York, as of midnight Wednesday, according to John Lyon, director of strategic communications for County Executive Ed Day. Nexter.org explains why measles is very dangerous, what are the symptoms and how to protect yourself and your family.
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