Measles continues to spread in the United States, federal health officials said on Monday, surpassing 700 cases this year as health officials around the country sought aggressive action to stem the worst outbreak in decades.
In New York, an epicenter of the outbreak, city officials closed two more schools for Orthodox Jewish children for failing to comply with an order to exclude unvaccinated children.
In California, hundreds of students and staff members at two universities remained under quarantine following possible exposure to the virus.
And with measles spreading globally, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged Americans traveling abroad to make sure they are immunized against the disease. On Monday, the agency renewed an urgent call for parents to get their children vaccinated.Bryan Llenas at Fox News:
"The biggest challenge we face right now is misinformation and myths about the vaccine. It's important that parents realize that the vaccine is safe and effective," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told Fox News.
Anti-vaccination propaganda targeted specifically to parents has popped out throughout Hasidic communities in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and in Rockland County, N.Y. and it appears to have convinced some mothers that the vaccines are more dangerous than the disease. The vast majority of the 704 confirmed measles cases in 22 states are located in these communities, according to the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) latest data, released Monday. Of those cases, 432 are in Brooklyn.
An anti-vaccination organization known as PEACH has published a 40-page booklet, filled with misinformation and discredited science about why it says vaccines are unsafe. Among the many discredited claims are that vaccines cause autism and are made of aborted fetuses.