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.

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.”

The bottom line: The spread of measles can be controlled if enough people are vaccinated. The World Health Organization says the magic number is between 93%–95% of people.

Go deeper: Long-term measles vaccine study shows no link with autism — again

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

5 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.