NEW CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The number of measles cases in Rockland County continues to grow.
More people are getting vaccinated, but not enough to stop the outbreak once and for all.READ MORE: Suspected Human Remains Found In Florida Wildlife Preserve Where Authorities Are Searching For Brian Laundrie
Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert said the number of measles cases since the outbreak began in October rose this week to 157.
Rockland County Officials Give Update On Measles Outbreak
Rockland County officials are taking no chances. The state of emergency declared Tuesday remains in effect.
Unvaccinated people under the age of 18 are barred from places of public assembly as one of the most contagious viruses continues to spread across the area.
“Very concerned, very concerned,” one parent told CBS2’s Reena Roy.
Health officials confirmed possible exposure at Rockland Kosher Supermarket back on March 20th, plus in a local cab that traveled there. And back on March 24, there may have been exposure in two taxis drove to and from the Monsey Hub shopping plaza.
Anyone who visited the following locations or used the following taxis at these times may have been exposed to measles:
- Uber that initially traveled to Monsey Hub shopping plaza in Monsey, NY on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 1:20pm to 1:30pm with a risk of exposure until 3:30pm.
- Nyack Taxi that initially traveled from Monsey Hub shopping plaza in Monsey, NY 10952 on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 2:20pm to 3:00pm with a risk of exposure until 5:00pm.
- Rockland Kosher Supermarket, located at 27 Orchard St, Monsey, NY 10952 on Sunday, March 24, 2019 from 1:00pm until 5:00pm.
- La Familia Taxi that initially traveled from Rockland Kosher Supermarket, located at 27 Orchard St, Monsey, NY 10952 on Sunday March 24, 2019 between 3:00pm to 3:05pm with a risk of exposure until 5:05 pm.
The virus lives in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours.
“My wife is actually pregnant,” said Rockland County resident Eli Koeng. “I don’t want to welcome a child in this world where they can potentially get a contagious disease.”READ MORE: Former President Bill Clinton Returns To New York Home After Being Hospitalized In California
Vaccinations are up: More than 500 vaccines have been administered after the state of emergency was declared Tuesday, bringing the total to nearly 18,000 vaccinations since the outbreak began in October.
“We are here to maximize immunizations and minimize exposures,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. “We have heard anecdotally that the declaration is having an effect. We’ve heard of crowded doctor’s offices.”
Still, public officials say more people need to be protecting themselves with vaccinations to stop this outbreak for good, especially with upcoming religious holidays.
Officials say the virus was brought into the Hasidic community from overseas.
The county health commissioner warned that in rare cases, the disease can cause fatal complications years later.
“There’s an entity called subacute sclerosing panencephylitis, which is rare,” Ruppert said. “That can occur from months to 27 years later, most commonly 7-10 years after infection. And what that does is it causes involuntary movements, seizures, coma and can lead to death.”
Activists rallied in Nyack Thursday, calling the county’s vaccination mandate discriminatory. The health commissioner stands by the decision, saying the vaccine is 97 percent effective, and offering it for free for residents.
Measles is one of the most contagious viruses on the planet: 90 percent of unvaccinated people exposed to the virus become infected, officials said.
Free MMR vaccines are available by calling:
- The Rockland County Department of Health at 845-364-2497 or 845-364-2520 to schedule an appointment to get a free MMR vaccine at the Pomona health complex.
- The Rockland County Department of Health Spring Valley Family Planning Clinic is also providing MMR vaccines, by appointment to Family Planning patients. Family Planning Clinic patients can call 845-364-2531 to schedule an appointment.
You can also get the vaccine at a federally qualified health center. To find one in the area, click here.MORE NEWS: Mayor De Blasio Announces Vaccine Mandate For All New York City Municipal Workers, Including First Responders
Learn more about the measles here.