The Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) has released a statement that the number of confirmed cases of measles in Lakewood has gone up.
There are now 14 confirmed cases of measles and an additional 10 under investigation.
The OCHD says the number would be much higher were it not for the immunity provided by those who have received the MMR vaccine. The Ocean County Health Department has assisted with vaccination efforts through the deployment of 7 of its public health clinical nurses, in addition to responding with 4 health educators and numerous administrative personnel to assist in the measles response. The Ocean County Health Department has also issued a number of Health Officer Orders of Isolation and Health Officer Orders of Quarantine in an attempt to protect Public Health in the community.
Approximately 90% of susceptible people will get measles if exposed to someone with the disease. Only those who have been vaccinated or who have been sickened with measles already are not susceptible. The measles virus also lingers in the air for up to 2 hours after the person with measles has left a room or building. Added to these frightening statistics is the data which suggests 30% of measles cases result in complications including pneumonia, corneal ulceration, brain scarring and even death with infants and pregnant women being particularly susceptible to complications.
ROCKLAND COUNTY (MONSEY, NEW SQUARE, SPRING VALLEY):
The Rockland County Health Department says that there are 74 confirmed cases.
Along with Refuah Health Center in Spring Valley and private physicians, health-care providers have administered more than 6,100 MMR vaccines since the start of the outbreak.
Rockland Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert has also ordered that non-immunized children stay home from schools in New Square and from schools that have less than an 80 percent vaccination rate. This affects 34 private schools in the county. Health officials are doing daily checks of the schools to ensure compliance.
Students will be allowed to return 21 days after the last case of measles is documented.
BROOKLYN, NY (BORO PARK, WILLIAMSBURG):
In Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community, health officials put the outbreak total at 24 since the first case in October.
Important Measles Immunization update from the Vaad Hachinuch
In line with the position of the Vaad Hachinuch that every child should be fully vaccinated, the school has been working diligently with families to convince them to get on an accepted vaccination schedule. Many of these families have already agreed to follow the school mandate. Only a small number of families have still chosen to use a religious exemption and not vaccinate their children.
Over the last 24 hours it has become evident that the measles outbreak is imminent in our city with potential cases already reported. In light of this information, the Vaad Hachinuch has decided to put clause #2 of its original statement into effect as of this coming Sunday November 18th.
We have therefore informed all parents of children that are not immunized for measles that they may not bring their children to school until further notice. The Vaad Hachinuch, in consultation with medical professionals, will decide if and when these children will be allowed back to school.
We thank our parent body for their trust, patience and understanding during these trying times.
We are mispallel for continued Siyata Dishmaya that our entire faculty, student body and city remain gezunt.
With wishes for a restful Shabbos,
The Vaad Hachinuch and Hanhala of JDBY-YTT
6110 N California Avenue
Chicago IL 60659
There are two suspected cases in Passaic. A local Pediatrician hung the following sign outside his office:
Sources tell YWN that there is one confirmed case as of this time. The attached image is a sign hanging at a doctors office in Detroit:
LETTERS FROM RABBONIM GROW:
RAMAT BEIT SHEMESH RABBONIM
The following letter was released on Tuesday, and signed by HaRav Shmuel Fuerst, the Dayan of Agudath Yisroel of Illinois, and HaRav Yona Reiss, Ava Beth Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council.
YWN has previously published an audio recording of HaRav Fuerst of Chicago regarding the vaccinations. Rav Fuerst joined the growing list of Poskim releasing Piskei Halacha directed towards the anti-vaxxers, following the measles outbreak which has spread across many Chareidi communities.
Rav Fuerst says he did alot of research into the issue (of vaccinations), and released the following message (audio below, transcribed by YWN):
“Every child must have vaccination shots. And a school should not take in any kids that were not vaccinated because of the Issur of ‘Lo Saamod Al Dam Reacha’ – because another child can catch this sickness. It can be measles, mumps, polio or any of these types of illnesses which are almost completely unheard of, and now we are hearing of them because people are not getting vaccinations.
“If you have a playgroup, you must make sure that all the children are vaccinated. If there is a child who is not vaccinated, you (the playgroup owner) must notify all the other parents, because you are putting them all in jeopardy”.
Rav Fuerst says this applies to children simply going to play at another child’s home. If they are unvaccinated, the other family must be notified.
ISRAELI POSKIM – WHOEVER DOESN’T VACCINATE IS A MURDERER
“Whoever isn’t vaccinated is a murderer” – so reads a Kol Koreh signed by leading Gedolim and Poskim in Eretz Yisroel. The letter was issued in an attempt to curb the rampant spread of the Measles currently spreading through Chareidi communities in Israel, as well as in other communities in Israel and around the world.
The Gedolim who signed the Kol Koreh include: Hagaon HaRav Yitzchak Zilberstein, Hagaon HaRav Shimon Ba’adani, Hagaon HaRav Sriel Rosenberg, Hagaon HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein and Hagaon HaRav Menachem Mendel Lubin.
YWN reported about a letter released by Hagaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, who stated specifically it is the responsibility of every father to make certain his children are vaccinated, bringing quotes from Shulchan Aruch citing the matter of שפיחת דמים, causing loss of life.
HARAV UREN REICH
An audio recording of Hagaon HaRav Uren Reich, the Rosh Yeshiva of Woodlake, is currently viral on social media. The shiur was recorded THREE YEARS AGO, but the words are timely. YWN has confirmed that Rav Reich’s opinion on the matter is the same, and even stronger now than before against the anti-vaxxers.
STATEMENT FROM THE OU AND RCA:
Orthodox Jewish parents, like responsible parents across the United States, overwhelmingly vaccinate their children against measles, mumps, rubella, polio and the other childhood diseases for which inoculations are now almost miraculously commonplace. As in many communities, a small minority of parents chooses not to do so. The ongoing measles outbreak demonstrates how this could bear very serious consequences, not only for their own children but others’ too, especially those medically unable to be vaccinated. The Orthodox Union (OU) and the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) strongly urge all parents to vaccinate their healthy children on the timetable recommended by their pediatrician.
Judaism places the highest value on preserving human life. It is well known that those facing even a potential life or death situation are instructed to set aside the Sabbath and other key tenets of halachic (Jewish law) observance until the emergency has passed. Prayers for good health and for the complete and perfect healing of the ill are an ages-old aspect of Jewish tradition. But prayers must go hand-in-hand with availing oneself of medical science, including vaccination.
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.
While the health of children is an important consideration, everyone should consult with his or her religious, medical and legal advisors in determining what actions to take. Nothing in this statement should be construed to add to or detract from rights or obligations created by New York or other state and federal statutes and regulations.
LAKEWOOD’S BMG URGES EVERYONE TO VACCINATE AFTER CONTAGIOUS PERSON WAS INSIDE:
Measles is highly contagious, so anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting the disease.
People who are unvaccinated risk getting infected with measles and spreading it to others, and they may spread measles to people who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions.
Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if:
• they were born before 1957
• have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine
• have had measles confirmed by a health care provider
• or have a lab test confirming immunity
Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose, and they could appear 10 to 12 days after exposure.
The virus can remain in the air or on surfaces for up to two hours.
To prevent the spread of illness, health officials are 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.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)