On Wednesday, Rockland County, New York officials announced their nearly annual measles epidemic – just a week before the US should be deprived from its status of removing any local traces of the disease. If nearby neighborhoods report other cases in the next few days, we could still lose our status without measles, but in the end things look bright.
The Rockland County outbreak officially began on October 1, 2018, making it the longest and ultimately largest single pile of cases in the United States to have occurred during this period. Since then, this month, 312 residents have been confirmed to have contracted the viral, vaccine-preventable disease that led to several hospitalizations. Nearly 80 percent of victims are under the age of 19; such a percentage is unvaccinated.
This year, the United Kingdom and three other European countries lost their status without measles certified by the World Health Organization amid a dramatic rebirth of the disease in Europe. So far, the status of the United States (19459011) of the United States (declared in 2000) is still officially up. One country loses its liquidation status if the outbreak brought in by another goes on for more than 12 months. At this point, it is suspected that the embryo has found enough reservoirs to recover as a local threat.
Morba is an incredibly contagious but predictable disease. The epidemic can be assessed if no new cases emerge 42 days after the last case when someone developed a transmission rash (a time span of two incubation periods or how long it takes for someone to become infected to show signs). For Rockland, it was August 13, but it was certainly not easy to stop this outbreak in its wake.
"We vaccinated nearly 30,000 residents – the real number was 29,027 – and that was until a week ago. And that's three times the average base value for our county, "said Rockland County Health Commissioner Patricia Schnabel Rupper by phone at Gizmodo.
In addition, over 1,000 people were actively quarantined or quarantined. surveillance, and the county announced two emergencies that tried to curb the movement of high-risk people.The original order, which banned unvaccinated minors from certain public spaces, was eventually overturned by a judge after a court order. a dispute from a group of parents, but the second, which only applies to people diagnosed with measles, was left in place. Sometimes, Ruppert said, the county is also forced to use subpoenas and legal orders to force people to provide information about their vaccination
New York City, which had its outbreaks in Brooklyn and Queens, also took drastic steps to control the disease. He issued a compulsory order to people living in the Williamsburg area, the epicenter of the epidemic, to vaccinate either the children themselves or face a fine of $ 1,000.
Many of the outbreaks that have plagued the country this year are with people traveling and returning from Israel, where measles are also a big problem. Thereafter, the cases spread to a large extent among the Orthodox Jewish community. And although many people and religious leaders in these communities have taken vaccinations, it was still difficult to convince some people to cooperate with health officials.
"Some people in the community don't trust the government very easily, but I want to say that most have trusted the health department," Rupert said. "However, those affected were able to meet with community leaders, the rabbis, the administrators and, of course, the members of the medical community, to get the word out and use their educational aid. " Another challenge was the anti-waxers who sowed these communities with misleading propaganda. about the dangers of vaccines later "
" The anti-vaccination movement has been providing similar information to the community for longer than we originally thought. And we found that much of the growth in this movement came from other countries. They are not necessarily local people – they are they came from other states and they came to different group meetings and gatherings where they would gather people who are more local and more interested in it, "Rupert says.  "They were a small but strong group," she added.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rockland is the only remaining active epidemic in the United States, but there are cases reported in two nearby counties that were reported later on August 13 and are still associated with the Rockland epidemic.
A CDC spokesman told Gizmodo via email that the last remaining case was opened on August 19 in Orange County. This means that the clear date will be September 30, next Monday. Given that Rosh Hashanah's two-day Jewish holiday begins Sunday night, New York state officials and the CDC are expected to refuse to declare the US still measles until October 2.
This is a victory for public health, but it will not be cheap. In Rockland alone, early estimates for epidemic containment can range from $ 2.5 million to $ 6.5 million. And the country as a whole has experienced more cases of measles this year than since in the early 1990s.
Yet, these cases have galvanized legislators to take vaccination more seriously. For example, New York State enacted a law prohibiting parents from using non-medical exemptions to keep their children attending public school unvaccinated, as well as other states and cities . It has been a longstanding policy recommendation by many experts that Rupert considers extremely important in preventing future epidemics. But perhaps more important than any law is to establish the confidence that people first need to feel comfortable with vaccination.
"I think we need to keep open communication with our whole Rockland community and educate ourselves – to educate and vaccinate. This is the other important thing to do. ", She said.