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Brooklyn Hasidic Community Is in the midst of a Dire Measles Outbreak



Miriam thought her niece was safe from measles

At five months old, the baby girl was too young for the first of two MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines recommended by the CDC. Miriam (who claimed her last name was not shared to protect her family's privacy) knew about the measles outbreak that had plagued her community, and Hasidic enclave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, since last fall

Since December, however, religious day schools in the area had been ordered by the New York Department of Health to unvaccinated students attending an effort to keep the outbreak under control. Miriam and her sister assumed the five-month-old would be safe in her daycare, sharing space with a school.

They were wrong. Within days, the baby came down with a fever. By Sunday, the baby had a head-to-toe rash. For most of the past week, she had a hacking cough, runny nose, and other flu-like symptoms

"You feel really helpless when a five-month-old is sick," Miriam said. "It's why it was so scary."

Miriam's niece was not the only child affected. Last Thursday, the Department of Health identified 25 more cases of measles in the Orthodox Jewish community;