Sept. 3, 2019 By Allie Griffin
Mayor Bill de Blasio and health officials declared the end of the several months long measles outbreak that plagued parts of Brooklyn today.
The outbreak began nearly a year ago in October 2018 and since then, 654 people were diagnosed with measles primarily in the Jewish neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Borough Park.
It was the largest measles outbreak in the city in nearly three decades and was declared over since no new cases have been reported since July.
“Ending the measles outbreak required extensive collaboration with community organizations and Jewish leaders. They helped encourage vaccinations and achieve record immunization levels in parts of Brooklyn,” Mayor de Blasio said. “As we head back to school this week, we just remain vigilant. To keep our children and communities safe, I urge all New Yorkers to get vaccinated. It’s the best defense we have.”
The city spent more than $6 million, ordered mandatory vaccinations and even shut down daycares and schools for not providing student vaccination records to aggressively combat the health emergency.
In Williamsburg and Borough Park, more than 15,500 doses of the vaccine have been administered since the emergency order was declared on April 9 — about 41 percent more than the year prior.
“This is great news and thanks to a close public health and community-led partnership Williamsburg residents can now breathe a sigh of relief, but it is critical we remain vigilant,” Council Member Stephen Levin said.
Despite the rescinding of the emergency order, a warning especially for those traveling to other countries remains in effect.
“Measles is one of the most contagious diseases on the face of the earth,” Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbo saidt. “There may no longer be local transmission of measles in New York City, but the threat remains given other outbreaks in the U.S. and around the world. Our best defense against renewed transmission is having a well immunized city.”