The measles outbreak plaguing New York City’s Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods has officially ended.
Health officials said Tuesday that the incubation periods since the last reported cases have passed. Since there are no new infections, the emergency order mandating vaccines can be lifted.
Vaccinations got the dangerous outbreak under control, according to city officials.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press release that, “Ending the measles outbreak required extensive collaboration with community organizations and Jewish leaders. They helped encourage vaccinations and achieve record immunization levels in parts of Brooklyn.”
Additionally, he added that, “As we head back to school this week, we just remain vigilant. To keep our children and communities safe, I urge all New Yorkers to get vaccinated. It’s the best defense we have.”
Despite progress, Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said measles is stil one of the most contagious diseases on earth.
“There may no longer be local transmission of measles in New York City, but the threat remains given other outbreaks in the U.S. and around the world,” Barbot said. “Our best defense against renewed transmission is having a well immunized city. Vaccination coverage has increased significantly since the emergency order, which has been supported by community-led efforts. We are grateful to the New Yorkers who shared the truth about vaccines and protected the health of their friends and neighbors through this outbreak.”
It was reported that New York City has seen 654 cases since the start of the outbreak in October 2018. Since then, there were 52 measles-related hospitalizations and 16 admissions to intensive care units due to the virus.
A reported 73 percent of the measles cases originated from unvaccinated individuals. Eighty percent of cases reported were diagnosed in people under 18, officials said.
In June, New York become the fourth U.S. state to revoke the religious exception for vaccines, following on the heels of Mississippi, California and West Virginia.
Even though the outbreak has come to an end, officials tell residents to remain vigilant. New York officials will continue to monitor the looming threat of measles.