US may lose measles elimination status because of New York outbreaks

The Bobster

Senior News Editor since 2004

US may lose measles elimination status because of New York outbreaks
By Kenneth Garger
August 28, 2019 | 1:16pm


A nurse enters a New York-based health department where a measles outbreak has sickened scores of locals
AFP/Getty Images

New York’s ongoing measles outbreak may cause the United States to lose its measles elimination status — an achievement that’s been in place since 2000 and signaled the eradication of the disease, according to a report.

Come October there’s a “reasonable chance” the World Health Organization will remove America’s status, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases told CNN.

“It certainly is incredibly frustrating and upsetting to the public health community that we may lose measles elimination status, because we do have a safe and effective vaccine,” she told the network.

If a county has suffered ongoing measles outbreaks for at least a year, the WHO will remove their measles elimination status, the report said.

Messonnier said that the CDC next week plans to release an official statement detailing America’s measles elimination status.

As of August 22, there have been 1,215 confirmed measles cases across 30 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency said that’s the most cases in the country since 1992, with more than 75% of them occurring in the city and across New York state.

The area’s biggest outbreaks have been concentrated in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County.

Communities where groups of people are not vaccinated are the most susceptible, the CDC warned.

In response to New York’s outbreaks, the state passed a new law last June that eliminated all non-medical, religious exemptions to vaccines.

The Bobster

Senior News Editor since 2004

LIRR warns riders of possible measles exposure
By David Meyer
September 20, 2019 | 5:27pm | Updated

Long Island Rail Road riders beware: You may have come into contact with measles.

Nassau County’s latest confirmed measles patient rode the LIRR three times last week between Mineola and Penn Station, county health officials said.

The individual took the commuter rail in and out of the city on Sept. 11, Sept. 12 and Sept. 14.

Officials advised that riders should be on the lookout for symptoms, which emerge after seven to 21 days.

Individuals with measles experiences high temperatures, coughing, runny nose and watery eyes — followed by a rash.

Groups with the highest risk of contracting measles include pregnant women, children under 6 months old and individuals who have not or cannot be vaccinated.

The impacted trains have been flagged for deep cleans, the MTA said.

“[Health officials] have advised us that any potential contamination due to this individual would no longer exist, as it has a life of only two hours whether airborne or on surfaces,” said LIRR President Phil Eng.

“We’ve instructed our car cleaning crews and station crews to give a full wipe down on areas where a person may have contact with in advance of the normal cyclical cleaning,” he added.

The case marks Nassau County’s second laboratory-confirmed measles case of 2019.

Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared that New York City’s months-long measles outbreak had ended. Last week was the first time in 11 months without a new reported measles case, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention.