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Children and teenagers in Rockland County, New York, who have not received the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) are now prohibited from entering indoor spaces such as malls, restaurants, shopping centers, schools, and places of worship for the next 30 days. If they violate the ban, their parents could face fines or jail time.
The unusual order in Rockland County comes as the whole country is grappling with the highest number of measles cases since 2014. In just the first three months of 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 387 measles cases across 15 states. That's higher than the 372 measles cases reported in all of 2018.
Measles outbreaks have occurred in New York, Washington, Texas, Illinois, and California. In Rockland County, there have been 156 confirmed measles cases since last October.
Authorities believe the outbreaks are the result of international travelers returning home with the disease, and some parents declining to vaccinate their children, leaving those kids and others around them vulnerable to catching the virus.
Measles is highly contagious and can be dangerous, but it can be easily prevented if children are vaccinated. That's why getting your baby immunized matters, not just because it protects your own child, but because it protects others as well.
Information against vaccines has proliferated online and in some of the communities where the measles outbreaks have occurred. Additionally, some people believe that vaccines are dangerous for their kids, even though such rumors have been repeatedly debunked by scientists and health experts.
Reading or hearing anti-vaccine rumors can make the thought of immunizing your baby scary. To put your mind at ease and protect your child, make sure you get the facts on vaccines.
Here are some more vaccine-related articles that will help you stay properly informed and prepared:
- How can I make getting shots less traumatic for my baby or toddler?
- Immunizations for children: What you need to know
- What are the risks of delaying vaccinations until my baby or toddler is a little older?
- The pneumococcal vaccine
- Is it true that a vaccine can cause the disease it was meant to stop?
- Immunization scheduler
our site News & Analysis is an assessment of recent news designed to cut through the hype and get you what you need to know.