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Measles outbreak reaches 700, largest since 1994

The measles outbreak in the US, especially prevalent among orthodox Haredi Jews, has surpassed 700 cases – the highest in a year since the Centers for Disease Control declared the disease eliminated in the United States in 2000.

The record outbreak of 704 cases reported last week by the CDC includes 400 cases in New York and its suburbs where it mainly affected haredim, surpassing 667 cases in 2014. Before the disease was declared eradicated, the previous discharge was 963 cases. in 1994.

The CDC determined the resurgence of the unvaccinated and of those who brought measles from other countries. Outbreaks in Orthodox Jewish communities have been associated with travelers who have taken the disease back from Israel and Ukraine, according to the CDC.

Despite institutional pressure, a line of opposition to vaccines has persisted in haredi communities on the basis of false allegations that vaccines are ineffective at best and harmful at worst. Large families, close communities and the complexity of immunization time for many small children in a family also contributed to the outbreak.

Most Orthodox Jewish children are vaccinated, according to statistics from New York State and New York City's health departments. There is no religious reason not to be vaccinated. Prominent rabbis in New York urged their followers to vaccinate their children.

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