NYC declares public health emergency despite safe, available measles vaccine
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
There's a state of emergency in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio is practically begging residents to get their vaccinations after 285 confirmed cases of measles since the fall.
Why it matters: The world's financial capital has declared a public health emergency in the face of a virus that has a safe and effective vaccine.
- "This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately," de Blasio said today. "The measles vaccine works. It is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested."
- 21 cases have put people in the hospital, including 5 who needed intensive care, the N.Y. Times reports.
- "The majority of the cases have been concentrated in Hasidic communities in Williamsburg and Borough Park, Brooklyn."
The big picture: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci just last month told Axios the current outbreak of measles would "certainly" overtake all of last year's cases, and he was right.
- The CDC reported 465 cases as of April 4, compared with 372 for all of 2018 — with 78 cases in the last week.
- Outbreaks have been reported in New York City, Washington State, Texas, Illinois and California.
What's next: New York is threatening fines of up to $1,000 on individuals in certain areas who don't get their kids vaccinated.
- “We are absolutely certain we have the power to do this,” de Blasio said today. “This is a public health emergency.”