Infections

Measles outbreak: New York county imposes new restrictions, $2,000 fines

Measles virus
Photo: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

In hopes of curbing the measles outbreak — which has infected 186 people in Rockland County, New York, — local officials have issued strict guidelines prohibiting anybody with measles from being in a public space for up to 21 days.

“It is unacceptable to sit back and do nothing as more of our residents fall ill to this deadly disease and court decisions aside, we will never do that. In 2017, measles killed 110,000 people worldwide, mostly children under the age of 5. And while we have thankfully not seen a death here in Rockland, we have seen multiple hospitalizations, including an infant and even a premature birth caused by measles.”
— Rockland County executive Ed Day
Expert Voices

U.S. measles cases mount as anti-vaccine influence goes unchecked

A parent protesting vaccinations outside a recent U.S. Senate committee hearing
An anti-vaccination parent outside a vaccines hearing held by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on March 5, 2019. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Between Jan. 1 and March 7, the CDC confirmed 228 cases of measles across 12 states.

Why it matters: These outbreaks — which have been especially large in Washington, Oregon and Texas — were predictable. A 2018 study of vaccination rates identified a dozen likely hotspots, two of which have now seen eruptions of this preventable illness.