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Ultra-Orthodox Communities Spark New York’s Worst Measles Outbreak In Recent Memory

New York is in the middle of the largest measles outbreak in the state’s recent history, CNN reported.

The outbreak, which began in September, has been found in at least 112 people throughout Rockland and Orange counties, home to several ultra-Orthodox enclaves. Fifty-five cases have been confirmed elsewhere in New York City, according to the New York state and city health departments.

“If you go back many decades ago when we weren’t vaccinating, of course there were probably more outbreaks, but in my memory, I don’t know of a measles outbreak that was this significant,” Howard Zucker, the state commissioner of health, told CNN. “We have immunized 13,000 children since this outbreak has begun.”

The outbreak was started in September by children who were infected on a trip to Israel, according to the Rockland/Westchester Journal News. It has had a significant impact on Orthodox Jewish communities, which often have lower rates of vaccination than the general public.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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