Measles Outbreak in New York

March 30th, 2019

Just this past week, Rockland County in New York enacted a ban on people under 18 years old who are unvaccinated from entering public areas.  While this may sound draconian, this is an aggressive move to prevent the spread of measles.   This potentially deadly disease has not been seen in the US for decades until the recent few years, however due to many people refusing to vaccinate their children we have seen a resurgence.  Some people are quick to blame specific religions as the cause for the refusal to vaccinate, but in fact most faiths have no objections to vaccines.  It turns out the recent movement to not vaccinate was begun in small pockets of people who were particularly vocal and persuasive.

I strongly recommend that if you have not had your required childhood vaccinations, you should get them.  It’s never too late.  If you are not sure if you had all your childhood vaccinations or are potentially in a group that could be exposed (healthcare worker, daycare worker, etc.) you should get a titer, which is a blood test that provides evidence whether you have the measles antibodies (protection in your immune system).  There have been several outbreaks also reported in Japan and the Philippines recently as well, so if you are planning travel to Asia, you may want to get an MMR booster.  Vaccines prevent deadly disease effectively, make sure to protect yourself and your family.