Individual people who may have come into contact with the patient are sought out and warned that the symptoms of measles can mimic other diseases - with high fever, cough, red runny nose and watery eyes - before the appearance of white spots in the mouth and eventually red spots on the skin. People who refuse the vaccine or who refuse to get their children vaccinated could be fined, though de Blasio said he hoped to avoid levying any fines.
If you have any questions about measles or the MMR vaccine, please call the Westchester County Department of Health at 914-813-5000. Most of these cases were found in unvaccinated or partially unvaccinated people, a majority of whom are children.
The new cases were reported a day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced mandatory MMR vaccinations for everyone living in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood - in one of the toughest measures against an outbreak in USA history.
"Our goal is to get people vaccinated", he said.
Let's also not forget the other life-saving vaccines that protect us against such potentially deadly diseases as polio, hepatitis B, pneumococcal pneumonia, the flu, Haemophilus influenza type B, and HPV, which can cause cervical and throat cancers. Although it would be easy to take this as a one-off, there have already been six outbreaks of measles in the U.S.in the last three months according to the CDC.
Other affected states include Washington with 36 measles cases, MI with 34 cases, California with 16 and New Jersey with 11.
Since October, Rockland County has experienced a measles outbreak of more than 160 confirmed cases. It encourages people to check CDC travel advisories online before traveling to any foreign location. It can live for up to two hours in airspace or on surfaces touched by an infected person.
Colleges in the D.C. area said they have had no instances of measles infections, but the University of Maryland sent out a campuswide notice Wednesday reminding students and employees that "Measles vaccine is required for students at UMD".
Measles is highly contagious, and nine out of 10 people who are not immune and are exposed to measles will become infected. In fact, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, now "47 states have provisions that allow parents to exempt their children from receiving a vaccine if it contradicts their religious beliefs, and 18 states permit philosophical exemptions based on moral, personal or other beliefs". Vaccines are not 100 percent effective, she said, and in some cases - albeit rare - children have suffered serious side effects.
The objective is to raise the vaccination rate from the current 72 percent, Ruppert said. When anti-vaccination resistance raises the danger level this high, authorities must take all necessary steps to safeguard public health.
The disease was declared eliminated in the USA in 2000, which means it was not being spread domestically.
With talks of major advancements in medicine like an HIV cure and genetic editing, no one imagined that America would be infiltrated by a disease we conquered almost 20 years ago. There have been 168 cases reported in Rockland since the fall.
Sheffield said that before 2000, millions were infected every year across the world.
The whole situation was incredibly frustrating, as some protested that there is no real reason a disease with a vaccine effective 97% of the time should disrupt the health and education of 153 children, according to the New York Times.
If vaccine exemptions continue to increase throughout Utah, Sheffield said the disease will re-emerge as a bigger threat, leading to increased hospitalizations, death and disability.