But besides the 16 historical cases which were added on August 26, the last new case in Rockland County was reported on August 15.
That means that the Rockland Count outbreak, which started in September 2018, will end, if there are no new cases, on September 25, 2019.
The Rockland County Measles Outbreak is Ending
While it is exciting news that the outbreak is ending, it is even more welcome and exciting that the outbreak is ending this week!
“Outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County, New York have continued for nearly 8 months. If these outbreaks continue through summer and fall, the United States may lose its measles elimination status.”
U.S. measles cases in first five months of 2019 surpass total cases per year for past 25 years
“A total of 654 cases were confirmed, with rash onsets between September 30, 2018 and July 15, 2019. Serious complications included hospitalization (52), intensive unit care (19) and pneumonia (34). Multiple international importations of measles introduced into a community with prevalent delays in vaccination among young children propagated this outbreak.”
2019 Health Alert #26: Update on Measles Outbreak in New York City
Of course not!
The New York State Department of Health advises that on all suspected measles cases, “Viral specimens (nasopharyngeal swaband urine) and serology (IgM and IgG) should be obtained for diagnostic testing and confirmation.”
Were these cases all caused by vaccine strain measles, as Larry Palevesky suggests?
Although anti-vax folks often focus on the measles strain when there is an outbreak, all it really helps you do is figure out where the imported cases came from.
Even though health officials didn’t tell us the specific strains involved in the outbreaks, guess what, they did tell us the sources of the outbreak, so it is basically the same thing.
The cases were imported from Israel, UK, and Ukraine.
And the CDC has told us that “All measles cases this year have been caused by measles wild-type D8 or B3.”
“We have to stop blaming, accusing, targeting, ostracizing, condemning unvaccinated children as a health risk, which would then make this subject completely moot.”
What else do we know about the measles outbreak in Brooklyn?
it began in October 2018 “with an unvaccinated child from Brooklyn who acquired measles in Israel”
it included 15 neighborhoods in Brooklyn, with most concentrated in Williamsburg, Borough Park, and Sunset Park
the majority of cases were in children, including at least 91 cases in infants less than 12 months old
the great majority of cases were unvaccinated, with only 27 cases fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR
there were 52 hospitalizations, including 16 ICU admissions
And the outbreak cost over $6 million to control!
The Rockland County measles outbreak ended in late September and is also said to have cost over $6 million to control.
So why do they think they are a hoax?
“There were over 800 kids who the New York State and New York City Department of Health have said were confirmed cases of measles. The real question is, were these really confirmed as per the CDC recommendations. We do not have that data. In fact, anecdotally, New York State told the physicians not to do the tests.”
Is this about the strains again? Is this about the fact that once you know you are in the middle of a huge measles outbreak, you might be able to start diagnosing kids clinically?
“New York State lied when they said that there were confirmed cases. We don’t know what kind of illnesses the kids had. And there’s a set of papers in the literature that specifically state that if the children are found by analysis to have a measles virus infection that is consistent with a side effect of the vaccine, it is important for the Department of Health to alert the public that it was a vaccine strain that caused the outbreak, because a vaccine strain illness should not be equated with a public health emergency. [Applause]”
Yes, it is about the strains…
“So the reality is that when there is a vaccine strain measles outbreak, meaning that the vaccine itself was not properly attenuated, meaning it was more active and virulent than just simply giving an antibody response in the body, when that occurs an outbreak is almost always very very close to the vest, meaning that would explain why it was only seen in two communities out of 62. And if New York state had done the proper testing of the vaccine to see if it was too virulent and of the children who had the measles infection to see what type of measles virus they had, then in all likelihood this was a vaccine strain measles infection which is known to be a side effect of the vaccine and not a public health emergency.”
Is any of that true?
Since we have never had an outbreak of measles from an MMR vaccine that wasn’t properly attenuated, I’m guessing no, it isn’t. Also remember that to control the outbreak, they gave lots and lots of MMR vaccine to unvaccinated folks in those communities…
What about his explanation for why we only saw outbreaks in Brooklyn and Rockland Counties? Well, for one thing, we didn’t. Other areas of New York and of course, around the country have seen a rise in measles. And the outbreaks in Brooklyn and Rockland Counties were caused when unvaccinated folks traveled to Israel, UK, and Ukraine and returned to an area with low immunization rates. They weren’t caused by a bad batch or mutant strains of measles in the MMR vaccine.
“So the New York State Department of Health failed to do their job and instead they lied and said the cases were confirmed and they didn’t do their due diligence to actually evaluate all the possible reasons that an outbreak could have occurred. It’s very strange that two communities where there are lots of people moving through those communities that are non-Jewish, that are outside of the state that are coming through and why just those communities got the illness. That should have raised the red flag that something else was going on and your state failed us.”
“There are halachic obligations to care for one’s own health as well as to take measures to prevent harm and illness to others, and Jewish law defers to the consensus of medical experts in determining and prescribing appropriate medical responses to illness and prevention. Therefore, the consensus of major poskim (halachic decisors) supports the vaccination of children to protect them from disease, to eradicate illness from the larger community through so-called herd immunity, and thus to protect others who may be vulnerable. The vaccination of children who can medically be vaccinated is absolutely the only responsible course of action.”
Statement on Vaccinations from the OU and Rabbinical Council of America
Again, Orthodox Jews are not against vaccines.
“Getting vaccinated according to recommended guidelines is not only vital for the health of both our community and the public-at-large, but it is also our halachic obligation.”
Don’t think that this year’s measles outbreaks will break any records?
Which Measles Records Will We Break This Year?
Unfortunately, as measles cases rise, we keep breaking new records.
The Rockland County, New York measles outbreak, which has been going on since September 2018, has the record for being the longest outbreak since the endemic spread of measles was eliminated in the United States.
What other records will we break?
What other records are there?
37 cases – the record low for the number of measles cases in a year, set in 2004
667 cases – the recent record high set in 2014 and the most cases since 1994, when there were 963 cases.
383 cases – the largest single outbreak since the endemic spread of measles was eliminated, set in Ohio in 2014