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Measles outbreak in Brooklyn extends to 55 confirmed cases

Borough Park has seen 32 cases, and Williamsburg has seen 21.

Vaccination is the only way to prevent the

Vaccination is the only way to prevent the contraction and spread of measles, which is highly contagious, the health department said. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Joe Raedle

Fifty-five cases of measles have been confirmed in several Brooklyn neighborhoods, according to the city's Department of Health, which is urging New Yorkers to get vaccinated to prevent the spread.

Several of the diagnosed cases involved children who have not been vaccinated against the virus and who recently visited Israel, which is seeing a major measles outbreak, according to the health department.

"Children who did not travel were also infected in Brooklyn or Rockland County," the department said. 

As of Jan. 2, Borough Park has seen the highest number of cases since October 2018 with 32 diagnoses, followed by Williamsburg with 21 cases. Bensonhurst and Midwood each had one measles diagnosis since October, however the health department said no new cases have been reported in the last two months.

Vaccination is the only way to prevent the contraction and spread of measles, which is highly contagious and more severe for infants, pregnant women and people with poor immune systems, the health department said. Symptoms include severe rash and fever, and could lead to death. 

The city and state mandate vaccinations for any child attending day care or school. Children enrolled in grades K through 12 and college students must have two doses of measles vaccine, the health department said. 

Anyone who thinks they may have contracted the virus is urged to call a doctor immediately. 

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