Brooklyn parents sue city to stop vaccine order aimed at curbing measles

Brooklyn parents sue city to stop vaccine order aimed at curbing measles

Globally, the World Health Organization reports that measles cases in the first quarter of 2019 almost quadrupled compared to what was reported at this time past year.

"Vaccine hesitancy means decline in vaccination rates, which could lead to more outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases", Eve Dubé, a medical anthropologist and researcher at the Research Center of the CHU de Québec-Université Laval, told Salon by email last month.

Although the disease could be prevented if 95 per cent of the population were immunised, the World Health Organization reported that global coverage for the first dose of the two-step vaccination has stalled at 85 per cent for several years.

The UN body said provisional data indicated a "a clear trend", with all regions of the world seeing outbreaks.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirms that more than 100,000 cases have been reported worldwide in 2019.

According to the data, in 2019 so far, 170 countries have reported 112 163 measles cases - while after three months in 2018, only 28 124 cases had been reported, in 163 countries - nearly a 300% increase. The state reported only one case past year, which was imported from Georgia.

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"Spikes in case numbers have also occurred in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States".

-Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the US where groups of people are unvaccinated. When more than five cases of measles are reported in a place in a short span of time, it is considered an outbreak.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had declared a public health emergency April 9 for parts of Brooklyn's Williamsburg section because of a measles outbreak prevalent in the Orthodox Jewish community, USA Today previously reported. The measles vaccine is included in the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine, which has become a target of people who believe it is unnatural or unsafe, contrary to widely accepted science.

But anti-vaccine parents have, in step, filed legal challenges to many of those efforts, arguing, as the mothers have, that measles is not unsafe (it is), the vaccine is risky (it isn't), and that the measures violate personal freedoms.

In response to recent measles outbreaks, calls have mounted in several countries to make immunisation mandatory. Australia earlier this month launched a major education campaign to encourage residents to get vaccinated. In 2014, the United States had 667 reported cases. Africa saw a 700-percent increase compared to a year ago.

Venezuela, where the disease was once contained, has also seen tens of thousands of cases as the country's economic and political crises continue to push the healthcare system to the brink of collapse. Those who are most at risk of complications from measles infection are: pregnant women, infants less than 1 year old and those who are immune compromised.

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