Updated
June 23rd, 2019

NYC Closing 10th Hasidic School For ‘Measles Violations’

NYC Health Department confirmed 588 measles cases in 2019  

orthodox student wearing tefilin

According to news reports, New York City is shuttering Brooklyn based Orthodox school because it has continued to admit unvaccinated students in violation of an Order from the Health Department. 

The Central UTA Satmar School for Boys, a Hasidic school located in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, is being closed on June 11, 2019, for violating city orders regarding vaccines and vaccination records, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.   

It is the 10th Orthodox school in New York City (NYC) to be closed this year related to the NYC Health Order, according to a city official with knowledge of the matter. 

Nine of the 10 schools closed thus far are in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The tenth school is located in the borough of Queens. 

Williamsburg, which has a large Orthodox population, has been experiencing a measles outbreak since 2018 that has infected 588 people in New York City, as of June 10, 2019. 

In addition to closing schools, if the NYC Health Department identifies a person with measles or an unvaccinated child exposed to measles in certain zip codes, that individual or their parent or guardian could be fined $1,000. 

As of May 29th, 123 individuals have received summonses for being non-compliant with the Emergency Order. 

The good news is that as of May 24th, 25,510 doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine have been administered to people who are under 19 years old in NYC. 

According to data from the State Department of Education, more than 20 Orthodox schools in Brooklyn had immunization rates lower than 90 percent last year. Health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a measles immunization rate of at least 95 percent.   

Additionally, the CDC reported 1,022 individual cases of measles in 28 states during 2019. This is an increase of 41 cases from the previous week. 

This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. 

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Since January 2018, 47 of the 53 countries in the EU Region have together reported over 100,000 measles cases. 

In response to the ongoing, worldwide measles outbreak, the CDC issued a Level 1 Travel Alert on May 10, 2019.     

And, on May 13th, the CDC’s updated its measles vaccination recommendations for international travelers:

  • Infants (6 through 11 months old): 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This vaccination does not count as the first dose in the routine childhood vaccination series,
  • People 12 months old or older, with no evidence of immunity or no written documentation of any doses: 2 doses of MMR vaccine before travel. The 2 doses must be given 28 days apart,
  • People 12 months old or older who have written documentation of 1 dose and no other evidence of immunity: 1 additional dose before travel, at least 28 days after the previous dose.

Measles is a disease that can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs), and even death. It is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing.

>>> Check your Measles Immunity <<<

Signs and symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, says the CDC. 

Most pharmacies in the USA offer measles vaccines, such as MMR-II and ProQuad. The monovalent measles vaccine is not available in the USA.

Financial support programs for these measles vaccines can be found at Vaccine Discounts.      

And, pre-travel counseling sessions can be scheduled at Vax-Before-Travel. 

Relevant Links: CDC vaccination schedules, CDC vaccine price list, and report vaccine side effects.