Jewishupdates's Blog

December 19, 2009

Mumps Outbreak Continues; People Won’t Vaccinate Due To ‘Religious Beliefs’

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 11:42 pm

Mumps Outbreak Continues; People Won’t Vaccinate Due To ‘Religious Beliefs’

The number of people in Rockland County who have come down with mumps has jumped to 152 as part of what state and federal health officials are calling the largest outbreak of the disease nationwide in years.

Just about all local cases of the highly infectious disease are among Orthodox Jewish and Hasidic residents of Monsey and New Square, according to the Rockland Department of Health.

So far, there is no indication that people outside those communities are coming down with mumps, she said.

The outbreak started in August in a Sullivan County, N.Y., summer camp for Orthodox boys, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials traced the outbreak to an 11-year-old camper, who had recently returned from England, where at least 4,000 people have come down with the disease. That camper spread the illness to 25 other people at the camp ranging in age from 9 to 30, with a median age of 12, according to the CDC.

When the campers went home later in the summer, they apparently brought the disease with them to Jewish communities in Rockland and Orange counties, the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, Lakewood, N.J., and Quebec, according to health officials.

The Rockland Department of Health is reaching out to community leaders, including rabbis and yeshiva directors to stress the importance of immunization.

Many of the parents who were interviewed by health officials indicated that they did not immunize their children because of their religious beliefs.

(Source: The Journal News)


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