Click to enlarge /
Baby with measles. As the state of New York struggles with a long and prolonged epidemic of measles, a group of anti-vaccinating parents sued officials to temporarily remove their unvaccinated children from school – and the county did not have it.
A response, Rockwell County Attorney Thomas Humbah forcibly defended the legality of the movement of the county, which was designed to thwart the spread of the disease. He also went so far as to question the validity of the religious exceptions parents used to exclude their children from the necessary vaccinations
"[Rockland County Health] The Commissioner, Dr. Patricia Rupper, has every legal right, the Law of the public health of New York and the County Health Code, take all necessary steps to stop the outbreak of measles in this county, "Humbuch said in a statement released for the press. [T] he has the right to practice religion freedom does not include the freedom to expose the community or the child to a contagious disease or the latter to ill health or death, "says Humbaq. What is more, he adds, "these religious exceptions bring a range of references to organized Christian doctrine to generalized spirituality. With the progress of the case, we expect some of the exceptions to be challenged, as they do not show sincere religious beliefs against vaccination. "
The Battle of Rockland with measles began at the end of September when an international traveler arrived with a suspect case. Since then, other international travelers have arrived in the county with an extremely infectious, sometimes fatal, illness.
In general, the county has confirmed 1
45 cases of measles, almost all of them in children and teens (84%). This includes 22 cases (15%) in infants under the age of one – the age when babies can receive the first dose of measles vaccine. A total of about 90% of the infected are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. The remaining 10% of those infected had an unknown vaccination status.
A controversial case
In an effort to contain the outbreak, employees issued an order in December that bans unvaccinated children from schools that have not reached a minimum of 95% vaccination. rate. According to the order, the exclusion of unvaccinated children will end if the area passes for at least 21 days without a new case. With the rapid burst rate, shutdown time could be increased to 42 days.
The order concerned the private Waldorf School Green Meadow. According to county data, the degree of vaccination of Green Meadow was around 33% at the time of the order in December. Since then, it has risen to about 56%.
In the case, 24 parents of 44 unvaccinated children attending the school claim that the order violated their religious objections. They also argue that the order is not necessary because the school has not had cases of measles and that the outbreak remains largely within the Orthodox Jewish community and its associated schools. The school for green meadows does not have a religious affiliation, but it is sitting in the area most affected by the outbreak.
"The school they attend has had no cases of measles," said parental lawyer Michael Suisman. "We believe that state law prohibits the exclusion of students unless the school they visit has an outbreak of contagious disease. It did not happen here. "
On Tuesday, a federal judge in the case denied the issue of a temporary warrant that would allow 44 students to return to school. "The plaintiffs have not shown that the public interest weighs in favor of a court ban," the judge concluded. He did not immediately determine the next date of the court for the case, and reportedly told Sasman that the case could be more successful in the state court. 19659004] Rockland is just one of six places in the country where measles erupts now. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have documented 228 confirmed cases of measles in 12 countries, including New York, since the beginning of the year