Here's How Much America's 2019 Measles Outbreak Is Costing Us


American health officials report that more than 700 people have been infected by measles this year, marking a 25-year high for the infectious disease.

The city announced on Monday the closure of two Williamsburg yeshivas as punishment for allowing unvaccinated kids to attend class, as an outbreak of the highly contagious measles virus continues to sweep through Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish communities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this year's count includes 44 people who caught the disease while traveling in another country. That's just the confirmed cases, mind you, so the real number is likely significantly higher. "These groups should still receive two doses of the vaccine if there is no evidence of immunity or previously receiving the vaccine".

If you already got the government-recommended dosage of the MMR vaccine, the CDC says you don't need to re-up. The last similar instance occurred during a bad outbreak in Philadelphia in the early 1990s, when the city recorded more than 900 cases, majority members of two fundamentalist church groups that did not accept vaccination or other kinds of modern medical care.

Alex Lamkin, the owner of "Any Lab Test Now!" in Plymouth, said he's received an increase in calls from folks curious about the measles blood test. "He is only 5 months old and didn't even have a chance to get vaccinated". But because the virus is so contagious, communities need to have near-perfect levels of between 93 to 95 percent of the population vaccinated to protect against the disease. In that year, 220 cases of measles were reported, according to the CDC.

A nurse gives a woman a measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine at the Utah County Health Department on April 29, 2019 in Provo, Utah. According to the CDC, for every 1 000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.

"We have more and more people who are choosing not to vaccinate themselves or their children, and that is putting not only themselves at risk but everyone else at risk, particularly the young and those who are medically vulnerable", Conaway told NJ Advance Media.

People born from the time the vaccine came out in the 1960s until 1989, when guidance on the vaccine changed, may have only had a single dose of the MMR vaccine. After all, it's been 51 years since an effective vaccine was introduced, quickly turning the disease from a common childhood experience to a rarity, and almost two decades since the disease was declared eliminated from the U.S.

Nearly 97% of Pennsylvania kindergartners in public and private schools had two doses of the MMR vaccine during the 2017-18 school year. The agency also recommended that people who got that vaccine, or aren't sure of which one they got during those years, should get vaccinated anew.

"I think the city is right and Rockland County is right and our Health Department on the state side is working with them both to enforce the public health decree", Cuomo said.

Given in two doses, the first dose is given at the age of one year, and the second about 18 months old.

If your vaccination record shows you received the measles vaccine between 1963 and 1967, you may want to talk to your doctor about a MMR booster shot.

The 15-minute, $49 test reveals if you have enough antibodies to fight measles.