Back in August 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was reportedly monitoring measles outbreaks in at least 21 states, caused by small groups of unvaccinated people.
"If in fact children who traveled had been vaccinated on time, we would not have had this outbreak", Zucker notes.
As of January 2, the startling statistics include 32 cases in Borough Park, 21 in Williamsburg and one each in Bensonhurst and Midwood/Marine Park.
The measles virus has engulfed Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County, and all 55 of those confirmed to be infected in the city are Jewish.
Measles is incredibly infectious and can spread airborne even hours after an infected person has left the room.
Infants ages 6 months to 11 months old should also receive MMR vaccines before traveling internationally and anyone born after January 1, 1957, who hasn't been vaccinated or doesn't have a blood test proving their immunity to measles should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine, the NYC health department said.
Children receive the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine - known as MMR - in two doses, one on or after their first birthday and a second between ages 4 and 6. Anyone who has received two doses of a measles-containing vaccine is highly unlikely to get measles.
According to the New York State Department of Health, the current outbreak is the largest in New York State since the 1990's, prior to elimination of measles in the United States.
New York State is in the middle of its worst measles epidemic in decades. That makes this the worst year for measles in the state since the 1990s, according to NBC News.