Doctor: 90% immunization would stop spread of measles

Posted: Updated:
BOROUGH PARK -

Health officials say the current measles outbreak is the largest they have seen in New York since 1991.

The epicenter of the outbreak is primarily within the Orthodox Jewish community. News 12’s Lena Salzbank went to Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park for more information on the infectious disease.

MORE: Measles outbreak coverage

Dr. Edward Chapnick, director of infectious diseases, says the hospital is treating nine patients for measles symptoms. Six of those patients are children. Borough Park has seen at least 49 cases there, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chapnick says the vaccine for measles was introduced in the early 1960s after millions had been infected. Chapnick says the MMR shot is 97 percent effective. According to Chapnick, the spread of the virus could be stopped if at least 90% of the community takes part in immunization.

The city confirmed more than 250 cases of the measles Tuesday. The mayor is urging everyone to get their vaccination or face possible fines up to $1,000.

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