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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

Measles in New York City

By May 3, 2013

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It hasn't gotten as much attention as the ongoing measles outbreak in North Carolina, so few people are likely aware that there has also been a measles outbreak in New York City.

In fact, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygeine issued an alert a few weeks ago notifying residents that:

  • they had identified five cases of measles in Borough Park, Brooklyn in the past month
  • there were a large number of exposures in the community and that additional cases were expected to be identified
  • all of the confirmed cases, who ranged in age from 10 months to 23 years, were unvaccinated
  • the initial case was from London, where a very large epidemic of measles is underway and measles cases are at an 18 year high

We had gotten used to hearing about large numbers of measles cases in Europe over the last few years. With more than 30,000 cases of measles in Europe in 2011, 8 deaths, and 27 cases of measles encephalitis, it helped fuel our own record number of cases that year. Fortunately, measles cases have dropped in most of Europe since then, which is likely why cases in the U.S. have also dropped.

This outbreak in New York City is a good reminder that the UK is seeing a large increase in measles cases now, with over 1,000 cases in Wales. Even London has seen a doubling of the number of cases this year as compared to the same period in 2012.

Get Educated. Get Vaccinated. Stop the Outbreaks.

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