In the News

MEASLES OUTBREAK

There is currently a Measles outbreak affecting the Orthodox Jewish communities of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Rockland County, NY. Measles is one of the most contagious infectious diseases.  Measles is transmitted by airborne particles, droplets, and direct contact with the respiratory secretions of an infected person. 

 It is currently the Department of Health’s recommendation for the Orthodox Jewish communities in Williamsburg and Rockland County to vaccinate children aged 6 to 11 months who are likely to come into contact with the measles virus. This would be an additional early dose of the MMR (Measles,Mumps,Rubella) vaccine   All children aged 12 months and older who are unvaccinated should receive the MMR vaccine immediately, and those who have only received one dose and are older than 12 months should receive their second MMR at least 28 days after the previous dose. Children who do not live in these communities should follow the regular vaccine administration schedule.

Children between 6 and 11 months of age who will be traveling internationally are also recommended to receive an early dose of MMR vaccine before travel. This dose will need to be repeated at 12 months of age, as long as 28 days have passed since the prior dose. There are currently outbreaks in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, Greece, Romania, Italy, France, Slovakia, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel, although all countries in Europe have reported persons with measles. There are also outbreaks in many other parts of the world, including countries in Asia, South America, and Africa.

 

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)

 

There has been a lot in the news about AFM. AFM is a rare condition that affects the nervous system and causes muscles to become weak. This weakness is usually a sudden onset.

All muscles in the body can be affected. Arms and legs are affected.

The cause is unclear. AFM can be due to

-a complication from a virus. The virus is believed to be in the same family of Virus’ as Polio (“polio-like”)

-environmental

-genetic

There is no vaccine to prevent this disease and there is no cure.  The best prevention is the same for all illness, good handwashing and regular vaccination.

AFM is not contagious however the virus that precedes it can be.

If your child has an acute onset of weakness contact your pediatrician.