Two pregnant women among rising number of Brooklyn measles cases
The number of measles cases in the Big Apple shot up to 390 Wednesday from 374 just two days earlier — and now includes two pregnant women, according to the city Department of Health.
“We have now identified two expectant mothers who have contracted measles,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot.
“These cases are stark reminders of why New Yorkers must get vaccinated against the measles as soon as possible. When we do not get vaccinated, we put our friends, our relatives, our neighbors, our classmates and other fellow New Yorkers at risk.”
She recommended screening for pregnant women as they’re at risk for giving birth to a baby with measles or miscarrying.
Most of the cases, 83 percent, are in the Orthodox Jewish section of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
There are a few isolated cases in other neighborhoods, but those have “not resulted in sustained transmission of measles,” the Health Department said.
Twelve individuals have been ticketed for refusing to get shots for the sometimes-fatal infection since the mayor announced a mandatory vaccination order on April 9. They face fines of $1,000 after hearings. If they don’t show up, the fine becomes $2,000.
The Health Department issued another alert to providers Wednesday urging them to tell adults who have not completed a two-dose series of the measles vaccine or do not have immunization records and live in affected areas to get the shots.
The alert also asks providers to give an extra dose to children ages 6 to 11 months who live in the Williamsburg, Borough Park or Crown Heights areas of Brooklyn.
An extra dose should also be considered for Orthodox Jewish children ages 6 to 11 months who reside elsewhere, according to the Health Department.
Lastly, kids ages 1 to 4 who live in neighborhoods with measles activity and have only gotten their first dose of measles vaccine should get the second shot.
The measles outbreak originated from people traveling to Israel, the United Kingdom and Ukraine, according to the Health Department.
Outside of the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn, other areas where residents have been diagnosed include four cases in Midwood and Marine Park, two cases in Brighton Beach and one in Bensonhurst.
There have also been cases throughout Queens including two in Flushing, one in Far Rockaway, and one in the zip codes covering Hunts Point, Longwood and Melrose sections of The Bronx.
Everyone over the age of 6 months who works, lives or goes to school in the Williamsburg zip codes of 11205, 11206, 11211 and 11249 must get a measles vaccination, according to the city’s April 9 emergency order.
The Health Department continues to reach out to that community with its sixth round of robocalls warning residents about the outbreak.
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