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New York fighting worst measles outbreak in recent history

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Staff Writer |
New York hospital
Empire State   55 people had been confirmed as infected

New York is tackling its worst measles outbreak in decades as the highly contagious disease is spreading quickly in the Hudson Valley and New York City.

As of Jan. 8, at least 55 people had been confirmed as infected in New York City, and some 112 in Rockland County of the Lower Hudson Valley were diagnosed with the epidemic, according to the New York Post newspaper.

The outbreak began in September 2018 when a child came back from a trip to Israel, where a battle against measles had been going on for months. Most of the victims in the New York state are living in Orthodox Jewish communities.

State and local health departments are urging parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible, even earlier than the scheduled age of one.

Rockland County is recommending local children get their first shot at six months old and the next shot 28 days later, the New York Post reported.

Measles spreads easily and can be dangerous to anyone who is not vaccinated, especially young children and pregnant women. Major early symptoms include fever, cough, watery eyes and runny nose. Later, a rash of red spots will appear and spread over the face and body of the patient.

For every 1,000 children who get infected with measles, one or two will die from it, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to media reports, measles outbreaks are going on in Israel and many parts of Europe.

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