New York Fights Worst Measles Outbreak Since the 1990s

New York state has recorded 122 cases of measles since September, making it the worst year for the highly infectious virus since the 1990s. Pockets of unvaccinated kids have allowed the virus to take hold, according to NBC News, after it was brought back by travelers to Israel, which has been battling an epidemic. Most of victims are members of Orthodox Jewish communities across the state. “It’s a clear and present danger right here in our community,” said Douglas Puder, whose practice is in the middle of the biggest outbreak in Rockland County. Officials believe the outbreak has been fueled by anti-vaccine propaganda, lax enforcement of school requirements to vaccinate, and families turning away from standard medical care. New York is one of 47 states that allows parents to refuse to vaccinate their children for religious reasons. Nationwide, as of Dec. 1 last year, there were 1,292 cases of measles, compared to just 667 cases reported in 2014.