MOST ARE ORTHODOX JEWS: U.S. Measles Count Surpasses 1000; Highest Level in Over 25 Years


Health officials say this year’s U.S. measles epidemic has surpassed 1,000 illnesses.

It’s already the highest in 27 years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the count Wednesday, saying 1,001 illnesses have been reported since the beginning of the year. Most are from outbreaks in New York in Orthodox Jewish communities.

The nation last saw this many cases in 1992, when more than 2,200 were reported.

Once common in the U.S., measles became rare after vaccination campaigns that started in the 1960s. A decade ago, there were fewer than 100 cases a year.

Overall vaccination rates have remained fairly high, but outbreaks have been happening in communities where parents have refused recommended shots for their children.

“What’s causing these outbreaks is lack of vaccination,” said Dr. Mark Roberts, chair of health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Illnesses have been reported in 26 states, but the vast majority are in New York City.

The city’s outbreak, which began last October, is already the largest local measles outbreak in the U.S. in nearly 30 years. It started when some unvaccinated children visited Israel, where a measles outbreak is occurring, and came back to New York.

More than 500 cases have been diagnosed in two Brooklyn neighborhoods – Williamsburg and Borough Park – and mainly among unvaccinated children in Orthodox Jewish communities. Forty-two have been hospitalized, including 12 treated in intensive care units.

More than 25,000 doses of vaccine have been given to children and teenagers in those two neighborhoods since October.

Some have been motivated by a city order issued in April that all children and adults who live in four Brooklyn ZIP codes be vaccinated or face fines up to $1,000. City officials say 123 people have received summonses for not complying with the order.

The city health department has put 400 people to work on the outbreak, and forged new relationships with community organizations to make a better case for vaccinations.

The officials believe it’s all paying off. New measles diagnoses dropped from 173 last month to 60 this month.

“I’m confident that the work that we have put in place … put us on the right trajectory to bring this outbreak to an end soon,” said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, New York City’s health commissioner.

Some health experts see the current outbreak as a sign that other vaccine-preventable illnesses could worsen.


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  1. And then we are wondering why anti semitism is on the rise Ki am kihei oref there are many of us that are stubborn beyond human capacity to bend their shitos and get the stupid shot.

  2. Some background. Torah Jews have significantly many more children than the general population. Measles has nearly always been a childhood disease. So it is not surprising that more of our children would catch this. Also for any of these number to make sense, they would have to be compared to pre-vaccine rates of infections and deaths to those of today. I have looked and not found this sort of information. Furthermore, according to a post I read, children in the Torah community have a higher rate of vaccination than in the general public. The post did not quote a source, so I do not know if this is true or not. However, considering that nearly all the Rabbis have said that vaccines are mandatory, it is not unreasonable. Also, I have not seen any analysis of how many of the children that are sick were vaccinated. Again, I have looked for this information but it is not available. This is of course an important number. If all or a significant number of the children were in fact vaccinated, this would completely change the nature of the events. The question then would be why did it not work?

  3. I have come across quite a few non-Jewish people and the “all” had this misconception that Jews are fundamentally against vaccines. This is a tribble thing and causes so much anti-Semitism. This is so false, in fact the vaccination rate among Orthodox Jews is at about 96%. The DOH and news organizations have a big hand in spreading this false narrative. Why place in the headline “Most Are Orthodox Jews”?