Israel

Polish Nationalists Protest U.S. Law Calling for WWII Reparations

A poster on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint promoting the 3/31 protest at Foley Square.

Over the past couple of weeks, you might have spotted a poster around Greenpoint promoting a Polish protest.

The protest at Foley Square in Manhattan on 3/31/

Last Sunday, Polish nationalist demonstrators gathered in Manhattan’s Foley Square to protest the U.S.’s passage of the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act, which became law last year and calls for Holocaust survivors and their families to receive compensation for their seized and stolen property during World War II. Continue reading

Category: News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Measels Outbreak Centered in Un-Vaccinated Williamsburg Community

(courtesy of Nick Youngson)

The highly contagious measles virus, which was eradicated two decades ago in the U.S. with an effective vaccine, has returned with a surge of 90 diagnoses (mostly children) in Brooklyn, with most of the confirmed cases centered in the Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg, where 15 people were diagnosed since last October. There were 349 confirmed cases of measles in the U.S. in 2018, according to the CDC.

Since October 2018, approximately 225 New Yorkers have contracted measles, tracing back to a traveler to Israel, according to the NY Times.

According to the NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene:

As of February 19, 2019, there have been 90 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn since October. Most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community.

The initial child with measles was unvaccinated and acquired measles on a visit to Israel, where a large outbreak of the disease is occurring. Since then, there have been additional children from Brooklyn who were unvaccinated and acquired measles while in Israel. Children who did not travel were also infected in Brooklyn or Rockland County.

The neighborhoods that are affected include:

Bensonhurst: 1 confirmed measles case (no new cases since November 2018)
Borough Park: 41 confirmed measles cases (2 new cases in the past week)
Midwood/Marine Park: 1 confirmed measles case (no new cases since November 2018)
Williamsburg: 47 confirmed measles cases (15 new cases in the past week)
If you plan to travel to Israel, protect yourself and your family against measles and get vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at least two weeks in advance of your trip. If you have traveled to Israel and you have a fever, cough, red eyes, runny nose and body rash, contact your doctor. You should call your doctor before going to their office to prevent exposing other people to measles.

The measles virus can live for two hours in rooms lacking ventilation and is spread through casual contact. Symptoms include a rash that can spread across the body along with white spots in the mouth, high fever, runny sinus, and a cough. A 95 percent immunization rate is ideal to shield the general population, but immunization rates are as low as 60 percent in New York regions according to the NY Times.

Measles cases by year (courtesy of the CDC)

For perspective,  a worse outbreak occurred in 2014 when 667 measles cases were reported, with nearly 400 cases in an un-vaccinated Amish community in Ohio.

Children should have their first dose of the measles vaccine by one year of age and a second dose between the ages of four to six. According to the city:

All children enrolled in pre-kindergarten, nursery school, daycare programs, and Head Start are required to receive one dose of the measles vaccine. Children enrolled in grades K through 12 and college students must have two doses of measles vaccine. Health care workers are required to receive two doses of a measles-containing vaccine, or have a blood test showing that they are immune.

In December 2018, the City Health Department began cracking down on un-vaccinated schoolchildren, banning children from school until they receive proper shots.

 

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments

Unvaccinated Students Banned Following Measles Outbreak in Williamsburg

Following a measles outbreak of 39 confirmed cases in Williamsburg and Borough Park since October, the New York City Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene has banned unvaccinated schoolchildren from attending Orthodox Jewish schools in Brooklyn.

The highly contagious virus can infect people of all ages who lack a vaccination. The measles outbreak in Williamsburg stems from children who traveled to Israel, where the country’s Ministry of Health counted over 1,300 measles patients in November of this year. NYC health officials released a statement warning travelers to take caution.

As of December 5, there have been 39 confirmed cases of measles in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn since October. The initial child with measles was unvaccinated and acquired measles on a visit to Israel, where a large outbreak of the disease is occurring. Since then, there have been additional children from Brooklyn who were unvaccinated and acquired measles while in Israel.

If you plan to travel to Israel, protect yourself and your family against measles and get vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at least two weeks in advance of your trip. If you have traveled to Israel and you have a fever, cough, red eyes, runny nose and body rash, contact your doctor. You should call your doctor before going to their office to prevent exposing other people to measles.

As of Friday, Dec. 7, yeshiva students can only attend school if they are vaccinated, even if the student has an approved exemption and/or the yeshiva has no reported measles cases. Unvaccinated students can return to school after receiving the proper shots.

According to the Dept. of Health, pre-k and daycare attending children must have at least one measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and kindergarten through 12th-grade students must have two MMR shots.

Approximately 2 percent of children in the Orthodox community remain unvaccinated for either religious or medical purposes, NBC New York reports.

Category: News | Tags: , , , , | 0 Comments