According to News 12 Westchester, the outbreak in Rockland County is the largest in the USA since measles was previously eradicated in the year 2000. It is believed it could have spread from other predominantly ultra-Orthodox areas around NY which have already seen outbreaks of measles. During the outbreak, more than 17,000 vaccinations have been given in the county, according to CNN.
The growing outbreak in Rockland County has been linked to parts of the Orthodox Jewish community.
Unvaccinated minors under the age of 18 have been banned from public places effective Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at midnight.
"If it seems to be helpful, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if other states in the midst of a measles outbreak would consider it", said Daniel Salmon, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Measles was effectively eradicated in the U.S. by 2000, but six outbreaks - defined as three or more cases - in five USA states have been confirmed this year, believed to be owing to travellers returning from countries such as Israel and Ukraine, where large outbreaks are occurring. The ban expires in 30 days.
Places around the world have started taking preventative measures to ensure that unvaccinated people don't make the rest of us sick. In the early days of the outbreak, people were cooperating with health officials and getting children vaccinated, he said, but that has changed.
"The circumstances we're facing here clearly call for that", Rockland County Executive Ed Day said during a press conference.
Public places covered by the ban include shopping centers, restaurants, schools and places of worship.
Skriloff said that the authorities had been making "steady progress" in encouraging religious communities to immunise children but communication had broken down in the last month. The parents had argued that Commissioner Patricia Schnabel Ruppert's order to keep unvaccinated children in specific zip codes with vaccination rates of under 95 percent out of school violates religious objections to vaccinations.
"This type of response is unacceptable and irresponsible". Noncompliance will incur penalties of six months in jail or a $500 fine, although law enforcement will not be deployed at any location seeking proof of vaccination, Day adds.
He said that parents will be held accountable if found to be in violation of the state of emergency and that they should have their children vaccinated.
Measles is a highly-contagious, airborne virus that easily spreads through coughing and sneezing. "It endangers the health and well-being of others, and displays a shocking lack of responsibility and concern for others in our community".