Measles cases triple globally in 2019, says UN

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference in Brooklyn N.Y

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference in Brooklyn N.Y

While vaccines are required for school children across the country, nearly all states allow exemptions for families who say it's against their religious beliefs, and 17 states allow a parent to opt out for philosophical or personal reasons.

It is one of the most contagious viruses around, however, nothing about measles has changed. "The disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people". The CDC report did not say whether there have been any fatalities.

Also on Monday, the World Health Organization reported that globally there are four times as many measles cases so far this year as there were at the same time last year.

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A growing and vocal fringe of parents in the United States oppose vaccines believing, contrary to scientific evidence, that ingredients in them can cause autism or other disorders.

"There is insufficient evidence of a measles epidemic or unsafe outbreak to justify the respondents' extraordinary measures, including forced vaccination", said the lawsuit, identifying the parents only by their initials.

There have been 44 new NY measles cases since last week, when the health commissioner issued a rare emergency order mandating vaccines for everyone living in the outbreak areas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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The New York Health Department also announced Monday it shut down the United Talmudical Academy child care center for 3-5-year-olds in Williamsburg for refusing to - or being unable to - disclose vaccination and attendance records for students attending its center, a violation of the health commissioner's emergency order issued last week.

Health officials on Monday said 555 measles cases have been confirmed so far this year, up from 465 as of a week ago. "90 percent of people who are unvaccinated, or non-immune, and come in contact with someone with measles will become infected".

New York City has had 285 cases, virtually all of them in Brooklyn, since the outbreak began in October. Almost two-thirds of all cases have been in NY, and 85 percent of the latest week's cases came from the state.

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Another outbreak has hit Orthodox Jewish families in New York's Rockland County. Officials there banned children not vaccinated against measles from public spaces last month. A state judge later blocked the order.

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