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Sullivan County, NY - Summer Camp Is Newest Front In Battle With Measles Outbreak

Published on: June 16, 2019 10:15 AM
By: AP
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FILE - In this July 1, 2014 file photo, Orthodox Jewish girls walk to waiting buses after summer day camp in Kiryas Joel, N.Y. Kiryas Joel is a tightly packed Hasidic enclave surrounded by suburbia in the Hudson Valley. As a measles outbreak stretches toward summer camp season, New York counties with a concentration of Orthodox Jewish camps are requiring vaccinations for campers and staff. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)FILE - In this July 1, 2014 file photo, Orthodox Jewish girls walk to waiting buses after summer day camp in Kiryas Joel, N.Y. Kiryas Joel is a tightly packed Hasidic enclave surrounded by suburbia in the Hudson Valley. As a measles outbreak stretches toward summer camp season, New York counties with a concentration of Orthodox Jewish camps are requiring vaccinations for campers and staff. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

Sullivan County, NY -  The battle to contain the worst U.S. measles outbreak in 27 years has a new front: summer camp.

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Vaccinations have been made mandatory this summer for campers and staff in several counties north of New York City that annually fill up with kids from the Orthodox Jewish communities that have been hit hardest by measles.

Ulster County took the extra step of mandating the measles vaccine or proof of immunity at all day camps and overnight camps, becoming the latest county in the area to issue immunization requirements. Rockland County announced a similar order this month, following mandates from Sullivan and Orange counties.

“We have to make sure our t’s are crossed and our i’s are dotted in making sure all these vaccination records are in and have been fine-combed through to make sure everything is in compliance,” said Rabbi Hanoch Hecht, of Ulster County’s Camp Emunah, which hosts many girls from a Chabad community in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights.

“In the past where we accepted religious exemptions for certain things,” said Hecht, who is getting his own blood checked for immunity, “now we cannot.”

The state of New York requires summer camps to keep immunization records for all campers, but doesn’t bar children from attending if they haven’t gotten a measles shot.

Children are required to get the measles vaccine to attend schools in New York, however, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Thursday eliminating an exemption for kids whose parents object to vaccinations on religious grounds.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that, as of June 1, more than 1,000 measles cases had been reported in the U.S. since the start of the year, up from fewer than 100 cases a year a decade ago. The bulk of those cases have been diagnosed in ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn and suburban Rockland County.

The CDC recommends everyone over a year old should get the vaccine, except for people who had the disease as children. Those who have had measles are immune.

The vaccine, which became available in the 1960s, is considered safe and highly effective — paving the way for measles to be declared all but eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. But it has had a resurgence several times, including 667 cases in 2014.

Hecht and others stressed that vaccinations are widely accepted by most members of the Orthodox community, echoing rabbis in Brooklyn and Rockland County who say it is a relatively small group of parents influenced by anti-vaccination propaganda — not religious teachings — who have resisted inoculations.

The Orthodox Union said it has previously required up-to-date vaccinations, including the MMR vaccine, for its 37 summer programs.

“Most of the leaders and rabbis have taken the approach that vaccination is required,” Hecht said.

Health officials in New York City have taken a tough approach, making measles vaccinations mandatory for everyone living in the Brooklyn neighborhood that is the epicenter of the outbreak, fining people for failing to get inoculated and closing 12 schools for failing to exclude staff and students who couldn’t document immunity. The city announced the two most recent closures Thursday.

Now, as schools prepare to close down for the summer, the fight is spreading into the Catskills and Hudson River Valley.

Sullivan County is in the heart of the traditional Borscht Belt, and the lake-laden area still attracts thousands to its camps and bungalow colonies each summer. Of the 170 state-regulated camps in the county, 139 are Orthodox Jewish camps.

“We draw such a population from New York City, where this measles outbreak was,” Sullivan County spokesman Dan Hust said. “It was considered prudent and wise.”

Not everyone agrees. The orders from Sullivan and Orange counties were challenged in state courts by parents of various religious faiths. However, civil rights attorney Michael Sussman said Friday he believes those cases will have to be withdrawn given New York’s removal of religious exemptions.

Several camp administrators interviewed by The Associated Press expressed no objection to mandatory vaccinations.

“We have no issue with that,” said Yoel Landau, director at Camp Rav Tov, a camp for Hasidic boys in Monticello. Landau said schoolboys from New York City attending the camp should have already been vaccinated because of the city’s order in April.

Rabbi Dovid Teichman, director of Camp Govoah, which caters to Orthodox campers in rural Greene County, said staffers were “combing through each and every application to make sure that everyone is vaccinated.”

“I can’t jeopardize anybody,” he said. “So if I find somebody that’s on the list that’s not vaccinating, I’m not taking them into camp.”



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Read Comments (23)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 16, 2019 at 10:35 AM Anonymous Says:

Outbreaks of measles is going to keep happening as long as the anti-vaccination crowd, including many so-called educated individuals on this site, will offer their pompous opinion, "that the government should not mandate vaccination". They would rather people suffer from serious brain damage or even death, to avoid the vaccine. They still can't comprehend that contacting measles, is not the same as the common cold.

2

 Jun 16, 2019 at 11:50 AM yosher Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Outbreaks of measles is going to keep happening as long as the anti-vaccination crowd, including many so-called educated individuals on this site, will offer their pompous opinion, "that the government should not mandate vaccination". They would rather people suffer from serious brain damage or even death, to avoid the vaccine. They still can't comprehend that contacting measles, is not the same as the common cold.

We, as Americans, prefer to avoid government controls of our personal lives; BUT when imbeciles in our camp put our health and lives in jeopardy, sometimes government needs to protect us. Thanks Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky.

3

 Jun 16, 2019 at 11:52 AM MrSmith Says:

Dont get me wrong I am pro vaccination, but I dont understand, if you and your children are vaccinated you are immune from the measles what do you care if someone else is not vaccinated

4

 Jun 16, 2019 at 11:56 AM yosher Says:

All this news coverage of the "Ultra Orthodox and Chassidim" as the source of the measles outbreak is putting all Yidden at risk in the world: remember the false accusations of the middle ages that we poisoned the drinking water wells of the Goyim, that resulted in the plague? This time it's not false and we are guilty.

5

 Jun 16, 2019 at 12:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Outbreaks of measles is going to keep happening as long as the anti-vaccination crowd, including many so-called educated individuals on this site, will offer their pompous opinion, "that the government should not mandate vaccination". They would rather people suffer from serious brain damage or even death, to avoid the vaccine. They still can't comprehend that contacting measles, is not the same as the common cold.

The government should not mandate vaccination.
The debate should be had in an individual vaccine basis and based on the individual patient.
This one size fits all model is wrong and creares a system on which a vaccine manufacturer can easily take advantage of. The industry outspends every other industry in lobbying politicians. Politicians are often bought off.
Look through the list mandated vaccines and decide for yourself what is and is not necessary for your family. And if you choose to wave that right and follow what others say you should, then go for it.
But what goes into my body and my childs body should be my decision. Not someone who would very greatly profit from it. And that should be regardless of my level of expertise.
You would not want government to dictate what you may or may not eat. This should be no different.

6

 Jun 16, 2019 at 12:59 PM Anonymous Says:

One of the possible adverse reactions of the mmr shot is measles.
Another issue that comes with the mmr shot is shedding. Where the vaccinee may not show signs of measles, but may be contagious to others.
I'm wondering, since there's a large outbreak in our community there would be a larger than usual rate of vaccinations. Could it be a possibility that this can be adding to the numbers of measles cases?
Would anyone know what the vaccination rate is among the measles cases?
I'm looking for real numbers. I read enough articles that say that they were mostly unvaccinated.

7

 Jun 16, 2019 at 01:50 PM FBF37 Says:

Reply to #3  
MrSmith Says:

Dont get me wrong I am pro vaccination, but I dont understand, if you and your children are vaccinated you are immune from the measles what do you care if someone else is not vaccinated

You know the answer to this... Just in case you are indeed a 9 year old and does not know... The vaccine is 97% proof. So out of every 100, 3 can still get the measels even with the vaccine.

More importantly people who are born not well or who have cancer or newborns are not immune. If you want to kill them you can by exposing them to measles. That is why everyone should be vaccinated.

If you do not want to vaccinate no problem. Just start your own community on an Island very far from civilization.

8

 Jun 16, 2019 at 01:57 PM qazxc Says:

I wish VIN would require people posting opinions regarding vaccines and other health issues to provide proof of education level to the moderators by private email before their opinions are posted.

9

 Jun 16, 2019 at 02:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
yosher Says:

We, as Americans, prefer to avoid government controls of our personal lives; BUT when imbeciles in our camp put our health and lives in jeopardy, sometimes government needs to protect us. Thanks Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky.

Shame on you. You don't have to agree with Rav Shmuel. But to make a derogatory statement as such is insulting the torah. Shame on you

10

 Jun 16, 2019 at 08:09 PM Truthful tataleh Says:

Wait! Do I sense antisemitism?? If it's only the Jews that did not vaccinate, and they are making everybody vaccinate, then they are targeting only the Jews. No different than making them wear a yellow star... Won't you agree? Please note the sarcasm...

11

 Jun 16, 2019 at 08:46 PM Aron1 Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

The government should not mandate vaccination.
The debate should be had in an individual vaccine basis and based on the individual patient.
This one size fits all model is wrong and creares a system on which a vaccine manufacturer can easily take advantage of. The industry outspends every other industry in lobbying politicians. Politicians are often bought off.
Look through the list mandated vaccines and decide for yourself what is and is not necessary for your family. And if you choose to wave that right and follow what others say you should, then go for it.
But what goes into my body and my childs body should be my decision. Not someone who would very greatly profit from it. And that should be regardless of my level of expertise.
You would not want government to dictate what you may or may not eat. This should be no different.

Guess what? The government gets involved in a lot of supposed "personal choice" decisions. Like mandating seatbelts for all in the front seats, and for all children, regardless where they sit.
That's an issue that pretty much solely affects the occupants. And yet, we wisely accept the government's "meddling" in our "personal choice".

12

 Jun 16, 2019 at 09:05 PM Anonymous Says:

I tell this to my kids and all the people I know. Kids going To camp should keep their suitcases and boxes ready, i predict there will be more then 1 camp closed down by the health Dept.

13

 Jun 16, 2019 at 10:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
qazxc Says:

I wish VIN would require people posting opinions regarding vaccines and other health issues to provide proof of education level to the moderators by private email before their opinions are posted.

How would you define credentials? Does one need to be a doctor in order to state information he achieved via research? Does a parent that has spent years reviewing the information presented on both sides have a right to share his view?
Or is it only if it goes along with a certain narative? The one you might agree on.
Thank you VIN for putting the comments on in their entirety. Thank you for not restricting freedom of speech. Unlike some other sites who shut down the opposition and never allow the other side to at the least defend their actions and show that its not always the way the fake news presents it.

14

 Jun 16, 2019 at 11:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Aron1 Says:

Guess what? The government gets involved in a lot of supposed "personal choice" decisions. Like mandating seatbelts for all in the front seats, and for all children, regardless where they sit.
That's an issue that pretty much solely affects the occupants. And yet, we wisely accept the government's "meddling" in our "personal choice".

I would rather the government not get involved in my business and not mandate seatbelts. I understand that seatbelts are a safety measure worth employing. I believe that good hygiene and diet are important as well. And I don't think you believe that it would be a good idea for government to mandate those.
It is governments job to inform and educate not force people. And that especially goes for a whole schedule of vaccines that may or may not be beneficial to my child.

15

 Jun 17, 2019 at 02:33 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
MrSmith Says:

Dont get me wrong I am pro vaccination, but I dont understand, if you and your children are vaccinated you are immune from the measles what do you care if someone else is not vaccinated

How about that many people are not immune? Many women I know that are pregnant and arnt immune and cannot take the vaccine now. I wasnt immune by one of my pregnancies and was warned to stay away from any measles. Fortunately there was no outbreak then.
And how about the newborns and the sick? Can we protect them?! Only by immunizing ourselves can we protect the sick among us. SIMPLE MATH!

16

 Jun 17, 2019 at 06:34 AM BaruchMordecai Says:

Reply to #4  
yosher Says:

All this news coverage of the "Ultra Orthodox and Chassidim" as the source of the measles outbreak is putting all Yidden at risk in the world: remember the false accusations of the middle ages that we poisoned the drinking water wells of the Goyim, that resulted in the plague? This time it's not false and we are guilty.

I have been thinking the same thing this whole time. Many say they did this to us, they did that to us. Yes they did! And it quickly boils over to violence against us So we have to never give the bigots an excuse to say we are doing those things again. My Grandmother and Mother taught me when someone is hurtful or mean don’t give it back. Be the better person in that situation. How these groups don’t see that is scary what else can’t they see that will cause boiling over.

17

 Jun 17, 2019 at 06:39 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

I would rather the government not get involved in my business and not mandate seatbelts. I understand that seatbelts are a safety measure worth employing. I believe that good hygiene and diet are important as well. And I don't think you believe that it would be a good idea for government to mandate those.
It is governments job to inform and educate not force people. And that especially goes for a whole schedule of vaccines that may or may not be beneficial to my child.

If the government does not mandate wearing seat belts, idiotic motorists such as yourself would not wear them, thus not only placing yourself in danger, but others in your car, and other motorists as well.

18

 Jun 17, 2019 at 09:54 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

If the government does not mandate wearing seat belts, idiotic motorists such as yourself would not wear them, thus not only placing yourself in danger, but others in your car, and other motorists as well.

Should government mandate your diet as well? By your logic they probably should. Because that way idiots such as yourself would eat healthier.
Don't assume that because I am against government mandates I don't agree with the idea. I wear my seatbelt and I believe that it should be my decision. Government should educate us about the importance of employing better practices in our lives.

19

 Jun 17, 2019 at 10:38 AM Anonymous Says:

There are 2 ways of looking on every subject.
1) In general there is the concept of "stay out of my business" and let me decide whats good for me,
2) Then there is the mutual responsibility that a society has to each other,

When it affects other people you can't claim that your only making a hole under your seat.

Vaccination according to a Super majority of medical professionals fit in to the 2nd category.

Seat belts mandated for passengers and children are also considered protecting other peoples lives.
Seat belt for driver? argument can be made that its his own risk and the government should mix out, but at the same time could be argued that if you have no respect for you your own life we can't trust you to care for someone else live, and driving on the roads is only a "Privilege " not a "Right".

20

 Jun 17, 2019 at 10:52 AM qazxc Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

How would you define credentials? Does one need to be a doctor in order to state information he achieved via research? Does a parent that has spent years reviewing the information presented on both sides have a right to share his view?
Or is it only if it goes along with a certain narative? The one you might agree on.
Thank you VIN for putting the comments on in their entirety. Thank you for not restricting freedom of speech. Unlike some other sites who shut down the opposition and never allow the other side to at the least defend their actions and show that its not always the way the fake news presents it.

Read my comment in full.

I did not ask VIN or anyone else to approve of anyone's credentials. I asked that VIN require writers to state their credentials and provide proof of said credentials.

IOW, anyone claiming to be a doctor should be required to provide proof of being a doctor. Someone who claims expertise because of a degree in statistical analysis should have to prove they have the degree.

Every person should be free to express opinions but I'd like to know the level of education in the field the writer has completed.

21

 Jun 17, 2019 at 12:08 PM long island bubby Says:

Sometimes we do things for ourselves and sometime for others.

As a Bubby of 4 (BH") grandkids under a year, I and their mothers are terrified of them catching the measles. They no longer go to public parks or allow non-vaccinated kids in their homes.

I am also very, very involved in an organization for Jewish kids with cancer & other life threatening diseases. EVERY single staff member is also terrified of this lack of consideration. These kids won't get measles, they will DIE from measles.

Please, please, keep politics out of it. Keep self-determination out of it, just think of the lives you can save !!

22

 Jun 17, 2019 at 08:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
long island bubby Says:

Sometimes we do things for ourselves and sometime for others.

As a Bubby of 4 (BH") grandkids under a year, I and their mothers are terrified of them catching the measles. They no longer go to public parks or allow non-vaccinated kids in their homes.

I am also very, very involved in an organization for Jewish kids with cancer & other life threatening diseases. EVERY single staff member is also terrified of this lack of consideration. These kids won't get measles, they will DIE from measles.

Please, please, keep politics out of it. Keep self-determination out of it, just think of the lives you can save !!

Do they also question whether the individual is in fact immune to the disease? Or is the vaccine enough?
Because the child that has received a shot but isn't immune technically poses the same risk.
Moreover a child that has had the measles is more immune than one thas has been vaccinated will ever be.
What I have seen are adults who are very outspoken against unvaccinated children. They are reasy to kock them out of schools and shuls and such . But haven't even bother to get themselves tested for immunity. I would consider that very political.

23

 Jun 17, 2019 at 08:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

One of the possible adverse reactions of the mmr shot is measles.
Another issue that comes with the mmr shot is shedding. Where the vaccinee may not show signs of measles, but may be contagious to others.
I'm wondering, since there's a large outbreak in our community there would be a larger than usual rate of vaccinations. Could it be a possibility that this can be adding to the numbers of measles cases?
Would anyone know what the vaccination rate is among the measles cases?
I'm looking for real numbers. I read enough articles that say that they were mostly unvaccinated.

This from the NHS UK. "About a week to 11 days after the MMR injection, some children get a very mild form of measles."
The cdc doesn't seem to acknowledge that. However, the MMR package insert states Atypical measles as an adverse reaction. But it seems to be of the more common reactions.

24

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