The NYC Measles Outbreak Is Officially Over
NYC’s measles outbreak that was centered in Williamsburg is now officially over according to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Today we’re announcing the end of the measles outbreak in NYC. https://t.co/AbwXWelT1L
— nycHealthy (@nycHealthy) September 3, 2019
654 measles cases were confirmed in NYC since August 2018, and community transmission of the measles virus was declared over on Tuesday as all reported cases have received proper medical attention and no new cases have emerged.
A vaccination campaign was launched by the city earlier this year and “33,805 doses of the MMR vaccine were administered to people younger than 19 years old in Williamsburg and Borough Park,” according to the NYC Health website. Outbreaks are usually declared over after two incubation periods pass without a new infection. The city detailed its action plan:
“To battle the outbreak, the City spent over $6 million and dedicated more than 500 staff to the response; disseminated tens of thousands of pro-vaccination booklets; conducted multiple rounds of robocalls; sent letters and texts to local residents; published ads and distributed educational materials in English, Yiddish, and Spanish; launched an ad campaign that appeared at bus shelters, LinkNYC kiosks, and in newspapers as well as online; hosted a tele-Town Hall to counter anti-vaccination propaganda; visited doctor’s offices; and hosted and attended numerous community events, among many other activities.”
We’ve ENDED the measles outbreak — thank you to the community organizations and Jewish leaders who helped get thousands of children vaccinated.
We cannot get complacent. The risk remains REAL. Protect your family.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) September 3, 2019
In a statement Mayor Bill de Blasio celebrated the news as a victory for classroom and student safety as the NYC school year starts this week:
“Ending the measles outbreak required extensive collaboration with community organizations and Jewish leaders. They helped encourage vaccinations and achieve record immunization levels in parts of Brooklyn. As we head back to school this week, we just remain vigilant. To keep our children and communities safe, I urge all New Yorkers to get vaccinated. It’s the best defense we have.”
NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot offered a more cautious victory statement emphasizing the need for vaccinations: “There may no longer be local transmission of measles in New York City, but the threat remains given other outbreaks in the U.S. and around the world. Our best defense against renewed transmission is having a well immunized city.”
Earlier this summer New York banned the religious exemption for vaccinations joining California, Mississippi and West Virginia.