Health officials in Michigan have confirmed that a measles outbreak in that state is linked to the ongoing crisis in the state of New York.
The Oakland County, Michigan outbreak has affected 38 people so far. All of these cases have now been officially linked to a New York resident who visited the area of Southeast Michigan via car. The male individual was unknowingly carrying the measles virus during his travels, exposing all of those people in his path.
Lynn Sutfin, public information officer for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed the link earlier this week as officials in both states scramble to control the ongoing health crisis.
The current New York outbreak is hitting the area’s Orthodox Jewish communities especially hard. The outbreak began last October when an unvaccinated child from the New York City area traveled to Israel and contracted the disease. The boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn are bearing the brunt of the problem, notably because of the high concentration of Orthodox Jewish people in these areas.
In addition to the patient zero, more unvaccinated individuals from the New York metro area have picked up the disease while traveling to Israel over recent months. The current outbreak in New York has reached a total number of over 500 cases. 332 of these cases have been traced since January, with more than 40 new cases confirmed in the past week alone.
In an effort to crack down on the spread of the disease, officials in Rockland County, New York announced a new set of guidelines on Tuesday. The new guidelines apply to individuals who have a laboratory-confirmed case of measles and those identified by officials as having been exposed to the measles. In addition, children under the age of 18 who have not been vaccinated for the disease also fall under the restrictions.
Anybody who falls under these categories are now prohibited from leaving their homes or going to places of public assembly for the next 21 days. Parents are responsible for their children’s adherence to these guidelines. Any individual who fails to comply with these guidelines faces a fine of up to $2,000 per day.