New York City officials yesterday declared a public health emergency in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn after 285 cases of measles were confirmed. Most of the cases took place in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, where many children are not vaccinated, and the officials also confirmed that “measles parties” had been taking place at the area.
Yes, that’s right, a party where the parents of the unvaccinated children gather to expose their kids to the virus intentionally.
New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said that people were having these parties back in the day to expose their kids to chickenpox, but it’s 2019 now, and there are serious consequences to that. The consequences are well known, and they include permanent hearing loss, brain damage, and even losing your life.
Deputy Mayor Herminia Palacio said that as a doctor, a public health practitioner, and a mom herself, exposing your unvaccinated children to measles is extremely dangerous, and they urge everyone to avoid this practice.
These parties were popular back in the day before vaccines existed, and the thinking was that the kids should “get the illness over with”, as it’s very rare to get the disease twice.
The problem with these parties is that even though some of the kids might only get a mild case, others can catch a severe one, and it could bring them the worst.
Exposure parties have started gaining popularity with the growth of the anti-vaccine movement, and even Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin admitted that he intentionally exposed all nine of his kids to the chicken pox through a “party”, and he did not vaccinate them.
The measles virus is very, very contagious, and a person with the measles will infect more than 90% of the unvaccinated people that they come in contact with. Even though the disease was considered eradicated in the U.S., outbreaks have taken places across the country in recent years, and it’s mostly due to the myths and rumors on the internet that vaccines can cause long-term health issues.