The worst outbreak of measles in decades is progressing in New York while cases are increasing in Oregon, Washington and abroad

Cases of measles have reached a peak of 20 years in several New York districts amid an outbreak that threatens to reach epidemic levels, experts say.

At least 160 people are infected with the virus, which typically affects children, in New York and unusual outbreaks have been reported internationally.

The most affected areas so far are Rockland County – where 105 cases have been reported – and an orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn where at least 55 are infected.

In the meantime, 25 other states have reported outbreaks, with the number particularly increasing in Oregon and Washington.

A red-spotty red spotting rash is the telltale signal of the measles infection that affected at least 160 people in New York – and outbreaks have been reported in Oregon and Washington

Measles can only be prevented by vaccination and health professionals in the worst affected areas are struggling with accelerating shots schedules in the most devastated areas.

Among other countries, Israel has seen a recent resurgence of measles.

In October, the sudden rebound in New York affairs was linked to an unvaccinated traveler from Israel.

Although the details of the cases in Oregon and Washington have not been publicly released, the eruption in Washington has been reduced to an unvaccinated child who had traveled to the state from another country.

The measles vaccine was introduced in the US in 1963 and since then the virus has been a minimal threat.

But among those who are not vaccinated against it, measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world and can be life-threatening.

Measles often starts with fever, sore throat, runny nose and cough, but there are a few signs of the infection.

Eventually a rash consisting of large red spots first materializes on the face, spreading until it finally covers the entire body.

As the infection worsens, complications can be diarrhea, lung infections and swelling of the brain.

One in twenty children with measles gets pneumonia, making it very dangerous for young children.


Most people will recover from measles within one or two weeks, but complications may occur.

People at increased risk for complications are teenagers and adults, babies younger than a year old and children with weakened immune systems.

Common complications are diarrhea and vomiting, a middle ear or eye infection, laryngitis, convulsions caused by fever and lung infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis and croup.

About one in fifteen infected children will develop one.

Less common complications are hepatitis, meningitis and a brain infection called encephalitis.

Rare complications include serious eye conditions that can lead to vision loss, heart and nervous system problems and a fatal brain infection called subacute sclerosing pan-encephalitis – this is very rare and occurs only in one in 25,000 cases.

Having measles during pregnancy increases the risk of the baby having a low birth weight, preterm birth or stillbirth or miscarriage.

Source: NHS Choices

Fortunately, the vast majority of children in the US and developed countries are protected against the virus by the combined vaccine against measles and rubella (MMR).

Babies should receive the injection in two doses. The first dose should be given between the first 12 and 15 months of life, and the second between four and six years, according to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

From May 2017, the CDC estimated that about 91 percent of children under the age of three had received at least the first dose of MMR admission.

In recent years, however, there has been a growing – although largely unfounded – movement against vaccinations.

Some populations have a longer history of restraint against shots.

Some members of both the Amish and the orthodox Jewish faith believe that the edicts, histories or combinations of the religions of their religions prohibit them from having their children vaccinated.

One of the arguments of orthodox Jews is that if a dangerous disease becomes rare – thanks to the high vaccination rate among the general population, usually – getting shots for their children more & # 39; evil & # 39; Then do good and therefore against his Jewish law.

But in 2013, an outbreak of measles struck near Williamsburg in the Brooklyn neighborhood in New York City. The 58 infections were completely in the orthodox Jewish community there.

The outbreaks that have occurred in recent months have followed a similar pattern.

An unvaccinated child from Brooklyn would have traveled to Israel, contracted the virus, and then left his home in New York and transferred the infection to other non-vaccinated children in the community.

In Oregon there was a moderate influx of orthodox Jews (especially in Portland). However, it is less clear what the outbreaks there or in Washington feeds.

There is some increase in the number of children who do not receive vaccines, but the majority of the population in both states is still protected.

Rockland County, New York, is home to a number of all-orthodox villages and the population of Orthodox Jews has grown rapidly in the whole area in recent years.

John Lyon, spokesperson for the health department of Rockland County, said the outbreak affected non-vaccinated communities there.

"We are making some progress, but this is one of the most contagious diseases out there in unvaccinated populations", he told Daily Mail Online.

So far, the county has already given more than 11,000 vaccinations to children there, but it is still struggling with the rapid spread of the virus.