Measles Outbreak in Boro Park and Williamsburg Among the Unvaccinated

The New York City Department of Health issued a Health Alert (#12 5/21/13) which is reproduced on Failed Messiah which includes the following:

34 cases of measles have occurred in Borough Park and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Additional cases will likely occur, because a large number of children and adults have been exposed to infectious cases……

The measles outbreak in Brooklyn is continuing to grow. Additional suspected cases are being investigated.

All cases are part of the Orthodox Jewish community and were unvaccinated at the time of exposure, including 5 cases too young to have been vaccinated, 23 cases who refused vaccine, and 6 cases whose vaccines were delayed. Cases range in age from 0 to 32 years (median 7 years), including 5 infants, 21 children, and 8 adults.

Complications have included pneumonia, a miscarriage, and two hospitalizations.

Measles is highly contagious. We have identified over 700 people who have been exposed, predominantly in health-care settings. Home isolation is required for up to 21 days for exposed persons without evidence of immunity to prevent further exposures. To interrupt the spread of measles in your community, we ask for your assistance regarding reporting, isolation, prophylaxis, testing, and vaccination.

Report any suspected measles case with generalized rash and fever to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) immediately. 

Please call DOHMH if you have questions at 347-396-2402 (weekdays 9-5pm) or 212-764-7667 (after hours and weekends). Your cooperation is appreciated.


Update, 5pm- The Health Department also distributed this Yiddish version for community members, (unlike the above which was aimed at medical and public health personnel).

18 thoughts on “Measles Outbreak in Boro Park and Williamsburg Among the Unvaccinated

  1. If these children have not received the MMR vaccines, then mumps is also a possibiity. i do not know what current statistics are in US. Mumps, however, can lead to infertility in men. But is not as dangerous as Herpes. Measles can be spread by saliva, and even by sperm, Maybe this will put a damper on MBP.
    All that being said, I am, personally, not a huge proponent of vaccinations. And as a parent I chose , selectively, with the pediatrican’s consent, which to administer, and which to decline, years ago. There is a minority opinion that some of the huge increase in autism in recent yearrs can be attributable to vaccinations. I have no opinion on that, not having read the studies. It is a minority opinion……

    • As far as I know, the autism link has never been proven while the infectious risks have been proven. Whatever those risks are, a community dense with children together indoors is even at more risk. Those who do not immunize get away with it usually as long as those around them immunize. But once the failure to immunize increases, the risk of an infectious epidemic rises exponentially.

        • “GAON”:

          A careful reading of the biographical information reveals that Dr. Scheibner read other papers rather than conducting research herself.

          See also Yerachmiel’s comments below.

          • Nudnik,
            Mea culpa, I did not check, however, I can only wonder who wrote those ‘other papers” perhaps some were serious epidemiologists? But, I will not take the time, nor will you, for it is not a tachlis subject for me at this point, but off the cuff, just because she cited others, doing a literature review does not, in and of itself, discredit all of the other writers, But I have no case to make, unless i were to do the literature review myself, for which , I have zero motivation. So I withdraw my link. until some day, when i am really really bored, <>.
            And Yerachmiel,, I think you meant to attach a link?? to the CDC site? did I somehow miss it? hot as hell, and i haven’t turned the a/c on yet, so i could have missed it.anything.

            • Not sure if this is what Yerachmiel intended to post, but this answers some questions.


              Why are Childhood Vaccines So Important?

              Newborn babies are immune to many diseases because they have antibodies they got from their mothers. However, this immunity goes away during the first year of life. Also, young children do not have this “maternal immunity” against some diseases, such as whooping cough.
              If an unvaccinated child is exposed to a disease germ, the child’s body may not be strong enough to fight the disease. Before vaccines, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent, such as whooping cough, measles, and polio. Those same germs exist today, but because babies are now protected by vaccines, we do not see these diseases nearly as often.
              Immunizing individual children also helps to protect the health of our community, especially those people who cannot be immunized. These include children who are too young to be vaccinated (for example, children less than a year old cannot receive the measles vaccine but can be infected by the measles virus), those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons (for example, children with leukemia), and those who cannot make an adequate response to vaccination.

            • At the risk of being unfair, I tend lump to look on the anti vaccine people as I do the people who want to claim that MBP is safe.

    • When my children were small, there was a pediatrician in my town (not the one we were seeing) who opposed vaccinations. I discussed the matter with our pediatrician, who explained why vaccinations were important,

      • You chose the MD you wanted. some are, some are not informed, and everyone has their own opinion. ‘ I left off the P in the DPT and my pediatrician, the best of perhaps 20 in town, had zero problem with that. Ultimately parents are responsible for their own children’s health. Now you will bring up YL ‘ point about unvaccinated kids affecting the vaccinated ones’ did the vaccine not work isn’t it supposed to prevent the disease upon exposure? What am I missing her, no exposure, no disease??

        And, let me take this one step further, if the CDC or the Barry adm. decides to help out BIG PHARMA and put statins in the water system, no, i am not delusionary, had a orthodox PCP 6 years ago, (who, by chance was a cardiologist). who believed that the statins should be in the water supply. now, i read more and more , other doctors who are not afraid to state that and the suggestion even appears in some medical journals, they want to give lipitor to fat 8 year olds, they are putting it into some “minipill” not sure what that is, but I I believe some all in one health enhancing pill for seniors. They want to put it into the water supply. 1984 but that is an anachronism and really dates me.

        If the CDC wanted statins in the water supply, would you just say, well , they know best. Severe muscle pain, which can be permanent, is just one of many many possible side affects, MANY. My sample of friends who were given lipitor, is very small, exactly three, all three had leg pains very quickly, two ceased taking the drug, and for one of the three, the pain is permanent,. very small sample I know. very. If that ever happens, hold on, but the class action lawsuit would put Merck and Pfizer out of busiiness, The Vioxx thing would appear a trifle. btw, that was on rosh hashanah or yom kippur, somehow they seem to time major negative news releases for Jewish holidays, only an apikorus would take note of that. neither here nor there, but interesting.
        They want to give healthy women tamoxifen. oy god how they are trying and the smart women are not biting, govt assoc, agencies doing everything they can, to get women to take Tamoxifen, healthy women, even women with zero famiily or personal history of breast cancer. the statistics show that the number of BC cases prevented is well lower than the number of endometrial cancers caused, and thrombosis and embolisms and cataracts, but big pharma needs to make money, and guess who they have in their back pocket. There are even MD’s who suggest that women get hysterectomies, so that the can more safely take tamoxifen, the endometrial cancer leaves the picture but not the cardiac problems.

        We are blessed to have the FBI the CIA the FDA, throw in the FAA for various failures, lol the SEC all to protect us. so do you want to do what your brain tells you is right (i’m assuming that you are a very smart Jew, despite some seemingly disparaging remark by YL, but perhaps it was an expression of CHIBA. hard to remember names, some pop up, and disappear but the persona re-emerges under a different name. I have more than had my say, but we have discussed Herpes, and measles, and helen kelller and the Besht where no one bit, no one commented on a new book. meleh.

        Can one be thrown off of this site based on the number of words they use? ya, i could probably filter out 20% with great difficulty. those bklyn communities are fairly closely knot, are they travelling back and forth to Israel, just random musing on how the measles got introduced. not by flying saucer. Maybe by a Charidi who frequents, oy, well, i need to divulge that a co-employee, yoter nachon, an employee, , russian, before accepting his engineering job at our firm, was a taxi cab driver in BKLYn. the stories he told, but, but, i doubt that he could have distinguished a rabbinical student from a head rabbi, you know, someone impt, like, for example, the downtown satmar rebbe, he was pretty fresh off the boat from russia at the time, but he knew the type he was picking up, and to where he was delivering them.

        • The CDC is solely concerned with infectious disease. The non sequitur rant you went on regarding statins is not only bizarre, it’s irrelevant. No one is preparing to add statins to the water supply. certainly not the CDC. Similarly, the CDC has no interest whatsoever in Tamoxifen.

      • Nudnik,
        OMFG, i cannoit believe what you wrote, what you think, re equating anti vaccine people with pro MBP people, Did i really read that correctly? If so, I cannot even answer you, bli elbonit, there is nothing at all to say. nothing, btw, have you had your 12 yr olds vaccinated wih gardasil?? hey no answer is really necessary. gardasil is an outrage extraordiNarily dangerous and to give it to young kids, who are far from having sex, hey even if we postulate some OTDm 12 years old is a but much, or should i say insanity unless we are talking about a world where rebbaim are “doing” 12 and 13 year old girls, hope yours remain healthy. let me summarize your opinion again, anti vaccine is equivalent to pro MBP????? In my entire lifetime, granted, I went to top schools H.S. and Ivy LeAGUE, i HAVE NEVER MET THIS KIND OF CONVOLUTED LOGIC. MY HASHEM BE ON YOUR SIDE, BECAUSE OK FORGET ABOUT IT, I WILL NOT LOWER NYSELF TO YOUR INTELLECTUAL LEVEL, OR SUPERSTITIOB OR WHATEVER IT IS . I DO NOT JNOW, BUT IT IS EXTRAORDINARY, IN YOUR NEXT GILGUL, I PRAY THAT YOU SHOULD BRE REINCARNATED WITH A BRAIN, “IF I ONLY HAD A BRAIN” HOW DOES THAT GO?

    • The “about” of their home page states,

      The International Medical Council on Vaccination is an association…whose purpose is to counter the messages… that vaccines are safe, effective and harmless. Our conclusions have been reached individually by each member of the Council, after thousands of hours of personal research, study and observation.

      Thus these are not peer reviewed studies. Per Reb Wikipedia (, the author you linked to is Dr. Viera Scheibner whose PhD was in paleontology and her professional areas of specialization were: Cretaceous and Jurassic Foraminifera of the Carpathian Klippen Belt in Slovakia and when she moved from Slovakia to Australia, the study of the Cretaceous and Permian Foraminifera of the Great Australian Basin in New South Wales. All a far cry from the research specialty of determining effectiveness of immunization.

      Here is the CDC’s take on what would happen if everyone stopped taking vaccines based on epidemiological data from back when these vaccines were not available.

  2. Probably the two largest and most incontrovertible successes of medical science in the modern era have been in the area of public health (sanitation, supplying clean water and food and immunization) and in the use of antiseptic technique during surgery and in obstetrical practice.

    The material below is from a Canadian public health website regarding diphtheria. I’m a physician; during my years in practice I never saw nor heard of a case of this disease in New England though my mother, born in New York in 1909, suffered from it as a child and was very seriously ill.

    Canada which has maybe 1/12 th of the population of the US so perhaps the numbers can be scaled up to make a comparison. However the point is the same regardless:

    Capsule History

    Before 1900 – Diphtheria was one of the main causes of death of children.
    Until 1920 – Approximately 12,000 cases and 1,000 deaths occurred every year in Canada.
    1920s – Diphtheria toxoid, the vaccine against diphtheria, was developed in France and Canada.
    1924 – 9,000 cases of diphtheria were reported in Canada.
    1925–1930 – Studies confirmed the effectiveness of the vaccine.
    1930s – Routine immunization became widespread.
    1983 – Fewer than five cases were reported; there were no deaths. Most cases in Canada occurred in adults who had been either partially immunized or not immunized at all.

    Diphtheria is a horrible disease. Tetanus is almost indescribably awful. Polio is a life-changer when not fatal. Google the history of polio prior to about 1955 – annual epidemics, paralyzed kids, life on a respirator. I don’t suppose even the posters on this blog who oppose vaccination oppose vaccination for these diseases (you don’t, do you?). For Haredim who live in congested areas with their large flocks of children in constant close proximity not to be allowing vaccination for these and for other common communicable diseases which at the very least leave a child sick for a couple of weeks amounts to parental malpractice. For any of their Rebbes to advise against immunization is virtually a criminal act.

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