Doctors address anti-vaccine community, warn measles can be deadly

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SUNSET PARK -

The assistant speaker of the state Assembly held a roundtable meeting in Sunset Park Friday to discuss the measles outbreak affecting Brooklyn.

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz was joined by several doctors and health care professionals who offered their insight into stopping the disease from spreading.

There have been less than a dozen reported cases in Ortiz's district, but he says he would rather be proactive and raise awareness before measles spreads further.

MORE: Department of Health: 4 new measles cases identified in Sunset Park | Orthodox Jews claim anti-Semitism on the rise in wake of measles outbreak 

Doctors emphasized the importance of vaccines, ensuring their safety and effectiveness, while pushing back against the anti-vaccine community. Some also responded to the claim of measles not being a deadly infection.

"While luckily we haven't seen deaths, we know that this virus does kill," says Dr. Stephanie Sterling of NYU Langone-Brooklyn. "It can cause severe long-term and chronic consequences."

Legislation to repeal religious exemptions from vaccinations has stalled in Albany, but Ortiz says he expects movement in the coming weeks as the clock runs out on this legislative sessions.

The latest tally of measles cases from the Department of Health is up to 566.

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