Health officials say the number of confirmed measles cases in the city has grown to 390, including two pregnant women, just over two weeks after a public health emergency was declared and vaccinations mandated for Brooklyn residents in certain ZIP codes.
Those four Williamsburg ZIP codes — 11205, 11206, 11211 and 11249 — account for 83 percent of the 390 cases, according to the city’s Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. The outbreak has been focused in the neighborhood’s Orthodox Jewish community.
So far, according to the Health Department, 12 people have been fined for not complying with the order. The city also announced last week that it had closed four Brooklyn schools for failing to provide student vaccination records.
City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said that the two pregnant mothers who have contracted the disease are "stark reminders" of the need to get vaccinated.
"When we do not get vaccinated, we put our friends, our relatives, our neighbors, our classmates and other fellow New Yorkers at risk," Barbot said in a statement. "We urgently repeat our plea to every New Yorker, especially those in the affected areas — unless you have a medical condition that prohibits you from doing so, please get vaccinated.”
The emergency order, which was issued on April 9, requires unvaccinated people in those four ZIP codes to be vaccinated with the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine (MMR) or face a fine of $1,000. The order allows exceptions if a resident has immunity to the disease or can document why they should be medically exempt. Last week, a judge in Brooklyn upheld the mandatory vaccination order, according to Reuters.