NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Health authorities say one big reason why measles is spreading is misinformation.

Milly Fernandez of the Upper West Side has some lively spring break stay-cation plans for son Thaeden that include the Bronx Zoo and, “the parks, the water parks.”

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“Are you worried about measles,” CBS2’s Dave Carlin asked. 

“Oh yes, definitely yes,” Fernandez replied.

She frets about the highly contagious illness, even though she swears everyone in her family is protected from measles by the appropriate 2-shot vaccinations.

The holiday travel season makes the fear of measles cases multiplying even worse.


  • New York City: 285 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn and Queens
  • Elsewhere In New York: 180 in Rockland County, 17 in Orange County, 8 in Westchester County and 2 in Sullivan County
  • In New Jersey: 4 in Monmouth County and 7 in Ocean County

“We’re definitely going to see more,” Dr. Rabia Agha, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Maimonides Children’s Hospital said.

Dr. Agha wants to bust myths surrounding measles that she knows some parents misguidedly use to justify not getting any vaccines at all.

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“The biggest myth from my perspective is that they think measles is a mild viral illness with just a rash and fever.”

The consequences for infants up to six months, kids with cancer and others who must forgo vaccinations for health reasons can be deadly. Side effects range from pneumonia to permanent brain damage.


“Sometimes parents want to delay the giving of the vaccine, but that would be like putting a child in the seatbelt after you’ve already made the travel to the store,” Dr. Jeffrey Avner explained.

Dr. Avner added that some people can perhaps be more concerned about their own risks than they need to be.

Booster shots are not necessary and if you’ve had the two vaccinations, Dr. Avner says you’re good.

“If you’re born before 1957 – because measles was so prevalent – it’s a general assumption that you’ve been exposed and probably contracted measles,” Avner added.

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His plea to others – get vaccinated. If you don’t, you won’t be welcome in many public places, especially in New York now.