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Home / Health / Outbreak of Measles Patient Zero infected 39 people in the Orthodox Jewish community in Detroit

Outbreak of Measles Patient Zero infected 39 people in the Orthodox Jewish community in Detroit




A woman passes Williamsburg, N.Y., a clinic where measles shots are administered after New York City has declared a public health emergency. (Sharon Pulwer for The Washington Post)

Last month, a traveler in Brooklyn's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, which raised money for charity, drove through the night to Detroit – his next fundraising stop. He felt ill on the way and saw a doctor when he got there. But the doctor, who had never seen measles, recognized the man's fever and coughing as bronchitis.

Over the next two weeks, the traveler became Michigan's Patient Zero, spreading the highly contagious respiratory virus (399,451) to 39 people. He stayed in private homes, visited the synagogue daily, and went shopping in kosher markets. His case offers a cautionary tale of how easily one of the Earth's most infectious pathogens spreads in close communities – especially those whose members live, work and socialize outside the mainstream.

"Each of our cases had a connection with the original case," said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County, a suburb of Detroit that reported only one case.

Over the past five years, 75% reported measles cases at the Centers for Disease Control and prevention took place in various island islands, including the Amish in Ohio, the Somali community in Minnesota, the Eastern European groups in the Pacific Northwest, and the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in New York.

The Contagion of York has spread through Patient Zero and other travelers to predominantly ultra-Orthodox communities in Westchester and Rockland County, New York Oakland County, Michigan and Baltimore County, Maryland On Friday, representatives in Connecticut said that one adult When visiting Brooklyn in late March, measles had to suffer. "Officials in New Jersey investigates possible links between eleven cases in the area of ​​Ocean County and those in New York.

"In all these communities, it's similar that they live close to each other and spend a lot of time interacting with them," said Daniel Salmon, professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and director the School's Vaccine Safety Institute. "That's what counts. It does not matter to measles what your cultural heritage is. "

Many of these communities are suspicious of the government, avoiding television and the Internet, and often rely on their own doctors for medical treatment. Sometimes he has taken root and prevented parents from completely vaccinating their children." The traveler had come to Brooklyn last November from Israel, the epicenter of a measles outbreak, and stayed about two months before he left early in the Detroit area in March, said Russell Faust, the Oakland County Medical Officer The Michigan Health Officers did not identify them, saying they visit ultra-Orthodox communities in the United States to raise funds for charity.

Feverish and coughing after his arrival He saw a doctor who had prescribed antibiotics.

As The man calling the next day to complain of a rash, the doctor thought he had an allergic reaction But after that, the doctor thought more about it, he worried about the possibility of measles and decided to leave the health department with a voice message with the man's cell phone number. Health officials jumped on the case – but he could not reach the man because of a problem with his mobile phone.

They turned to Steve McGraw, Chief of the Oakland Rescue Service and longtime member of the Detroit Hatzalah Emergency Relief Group of the Orthodox community, a volunteer volunteer with close ties to many families. McGraw alerted the rabbinical leaders, jumped into his car, and drove to the area where the traveler wanted to stop to look for the man's rental car, a blue sedan that knew he stood out among the minivans used by every family would. [19659013MitgliedervonHatzalahundrabbinischeFührermachtensichebenfallsaufdieSuchenachdemReisendendersichineinemGästehausinderNachbarschaftaufhieltAlssieihneinigeStundenspäterfandenwarderReisendefassungslosErsagteMcGrawunddemRabbiderihngefundenhattedasssiesichirrenmusstenseiterglaubteerhättedieMaserngehabt

"There is only one disease, and you have it," recalls McGraw, as a rabbi translated into Hebrew. He laid his head down and was very emotional. I could see from his expression that he was devastated. He expected in his head, "McGraw said. He counts all the people he had had contact with.

The traveler, as it turned out, had hundreds of contacts with members of the community who had to be prosecuted by the health authorities, having lived mainly in private homes in the Oak Park and Southfield areas, visiting synagogues three times a day, to pray and study, visiting kosher markets and pizzerias in 30 locations over a week.

"This guy was traveling and infectious throughout the community," McGraw said. "We knew we had a really significant exposure

Measles virus is so contagious that if an unvaccinated person passes through a room for up to two hours after a person has gone through measles, the likelihood of an unvaccinated person is 90 percent and spread four days after the telltale rash.As measles are so contagious, at least 96% of the population must be vaccinated, to prevent the risk of an outbreak.

On March 13, the blood tests confirmed the measles of the traveler. The strain matched the genetic fingerprint of the New York City outbreak, McGraw said. On the same day, health officials alerted the public.

To bring information to the ultra-Orthodox community, health officials used their internal messaging system known as the Call Center. Voice messages ring on about 1,200 mobile phones. McGraw recorded a message that rabbinic leaders had allowed for delivery, the first of several to provide information about the disease and vaccination clinics.

Over the next few weeks, Janet Snider, pediatrician of many ultra-Orthodox families, and Gedalya Cooper, an emergency medical officer, both members of the Hatzalah, visited people in their homes to examine them for measles and test them for measles.

The Council of Orthodox Rabbis in Greater Detroit made a clear statement in which Jewish law was required to be every member of the congregation. properly and completely vaccinated, "said the CDC. The Agency recommends that children receive two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), starting with the first dose at the age of 12 to 15 months and the second dose at the age of 4 to 6 years.

"To Protect and Protect Everyone Every single one of the larger community, every individual, family and institution must take the necessary precautions against anyone who does not want to get vaccinated. The Hatzalah and Rabbinical leaders helped the health department set up three clinics in a clinic synagogue that immunizes nearly 1,000 people in one week Since the beginning of April, health officials have performed more than 2,100 vaccinations, and rejecting vaccines does not seem to be a major factor to be in the Oakland County Cluster.

At least in Michigan, close collaboration between health officials and the religious community appears to have controlled the spread of the disease, leading to serious complications such as deafness, pneumonia, brain damage and death.

Well, with 555 measles cases in 20 states – the highest in five years – other localities are considering this model, and Faustus said Hatzalah groups in other parts of the country would contact the district officials to get the vaccine.

Oakland County had something else to offer: Masernau Breaks usually start with children. Patient Zero, however, had spent most of his time with adults, and most of the 39 cases involve adults. Many adults who became ill believed that they were immune because some were told they had the disease as children or were vaccinated.

"There are quite a few unimmunized or under-immunized adults," said medical officer Faust. Some of the infected adults were also born before 1957, when most people captured measles and are believed to have natural immunity.

Officials said the risk remains high for those who are unvaccinated or vaccinated and who travel here or in the communities Abroad, it is swarming with measles.

Gaps in vaccine coverage have led to a 20-year high in measles in Europe. Great outbreaks are also taking place in parts of the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Japan. More than 1,200 people have died in Madagascar. With the upcoming spring break and summer vacation, travelers visiting European countries with outbreaks such as France and Italy have a much higher chance of returning infections to "islands or vulnerable areas," said Saad Omer, an infectious disease expert at Emory University

. Measles are a very unforgiving disease, "he said. "Even if most people are vaccinated, this number may not be high enough."

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