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The Brooklyn Hasid Community is in the middle of an eruption of measles



Miriam believed her niece was safe from measles.

At five months, the baby was too young for the first of the two CDR-recommended MMR vaccines (measles, mumps, and rubella). Miriam (who asked that her last name not be given to protect her family's privacy) knew about the measles outbreak that had plagued her congregation, a Hasidic enclave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, since last fall.

Since December, however, Religious Day Schools in the area had been ordered by the New York Department of Health to prevent unvaccinated students from attending to keep the outbreak under control. Miriam and her sister assumed that the five-month-old is safe in her daycare center, where she shares a school.

They were wrong. Within days, the baby got a fever. On Sunday, the baby had a rash from head to toe. In the last week, she has almost always had a cough, runny nose and other flu-like symptoms.

"You really feel helpless when a five month old patient is ill," said Miriam. "That's why it was so scary."

Miriam's niece was not the only affected child. Last Thursday, the Department of Health identified 25 more cases of measles in the Orthodox Jewish community in the district. The total number of cases is now 1

58 since the outbreak began in October.


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