Mandatory vaccination programmes have been implemented in Italy and in the state of NY.
Among the six regional outbreaks of measles reported by the Centers for Disease Control, the leading public health institute in the U.S., Rockland County's is the most concentrated. The drugmaker is the exclusive manufacturer of the MMR II - measles, mumps, rubella - vaccine, which is generally distributed in two doses. Complications can include hearing loss, pneumonia, swelling of the brain and death.
Measles is easily spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing, and infection can be more severe in young infants, pregnant women and people with a weak immune system.
Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, the health commissioner there, said that since October she has been waging an uphill fight to persuade people vaccines are safe and necessary to protect the larger community.
Opponents of New York City's emergency declaration ordering everyone in a heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood to be vaccinated for measles will file a lawsuit this week, a lawyer working with the group said Wednesday.
The CDC blames measles outbreaks across the United States on two factors: an increase in the number of people who bring measles into the country from overseas and pockets of unvaccinated people living here.
New York City accounted for about two-thirds of all US measles cases reported last week.
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Coffey stated that, because Lee is a diverse community, the Clinic has come across students who aren't willing to be vaccinated on religious or other personal grounds.
"With the number of cases in the country right now, I'd be surprised if we don't eventually get some", said Shawn Kiernan, senior epidemiologist with Fairfax County's communicative diseases division.
Junior biology major Caleb Gruber said, for him, appreciating the ability to practice advanced medicine and create vaccines is an expression of faith.
"There should be policies to protect people's different views", Gruber said. The health department has threatened to close these yeshivas if they do not comply.
This year, the World Health Organization ranked "vaccine hesitancy" in its list of the 10 biggest threats to global health. Refusing vaccines is not a doctrine of the Jewish Orthodox, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, or any other religious community. Anyone who can not afford a vaccination will receive on for free. The disease is transmitted when people who have not been vaccinated come into contact with others, so areas around worldwide airports or proximity to communities who shun vaccines are of particular concern.
As anti-vaccination movements continue to rise, Coffey explained that the widespread opposition to vaccination is mainly based in false news about side effects.
"So far, we've been spared the outbreak", Anderson said.
"This is a country that has an interesting relationship with religion - the country was founded by people seeking some kind of religious liberties", Siepser said.