'An executive order pulled close to 6,000 unvaccinated children out of schools. Nearly 17,000 doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (M.M.R.) vaccine were given in 26 weeks. There was a public health campaign in which community officials, doctors and rabbis testified to the importance of immunizations.
None of those efforts stemmed the severe measles outbreak that has been plaguing Rockland County in New York since October.
So on Tuesday, in an extraordinary step, the county executive, Ed Day, declared a state of emergency, effective at midnight, that would bar children and teenagers who are not vaccinated against measles from public places.
Mr. Day said he believed Rockland County’s order was the first of its kind in the United States, and several public health experts said that they could not recall any action like it in recent years.
The outbreak has been largely concentrated in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Rockland, many of which have close ties to Brooklyn areas where there have also been infections. In both communities, vaccination rates tend to be lower and anti-vaccination literature has spread, public officials have said.
The declaration highlighted the desperation of public officials to control the spread of a disease they have so far struggled to halt.
“We must not allow this outbreak to continue indefinitely or worsen again,” Mr. Day said. “We will not sit idly by while children in our community are at risk.”
Measles was proclaimed eliminated in the United States in 2000, but a handful of outbreaks have spread in recent years. There have been 314 confirmed measles cases in the United States in 2019, as of March 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.'
Read more:New York County Declares Measles State Of Emergency, Bans ALL Unvaccinated Kids From ALL Public Spaces
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