Health

N.Y. county bans unvaccinated minors in public as measles spreads

A county in New York City's northern suburbs is banning unvaccinated minors from public places to fight a measles outbreak.

County experiencing New York state's longest measles outbreak in decades

Health officials say the best way to stop the spread of measles is a high vaccination rate in the community. (Tom Stathis/Associated Press)

A county in New York City's northern suburbs is banning unvaccinated minors from public places to fight a measles outbreak that has infected more than 150 people since October.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said at a news conference that the state of emergency taking effect Tuesday night is intended to persuade parents to have their children vaccinated to reverse the trajectory of the disease's spread.

"This is a public health crisis and it is time to sound the alarm and take the appropriate action," Day said.

The county is experiencing New York state's longest measles outbreak since the disease was officially eliminated from the United States in 2000. Health officials say the best way to stop the disease's spread is a high vaccination rate in the community.

A federal judge this month denied a request from parents to let 44 unvaccinated children return to the Waldorf School in Rockland County.

As of March 26, there were 153 confirmed reported cases of measles in Rockland County

In addition to New York, there have also been measles outbreaks in Washington State, Texas, Illinois and California, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Four cases of measles were identified in Detroit last week and there's one "probable" case on the Canadian side of the border in Chatham, the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit said.

There have been a number of recent cases of measles among B.C. residents this year, the BCCDC said. 

With files from CBC News

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