By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

New York City health officials announced today that community transmission of measles has ended and the outbreak in Brooklyn is over. A total of 654 cases were confirmed, with rash onsets between September 30, 2018 and July 15, 2019.

This is the largest outbreak of measles in the United States since 1992. Serious complications included hospitalization (52), intensive unit care (19) and pneumonia (34).

Health officials remind that although community transmission associated with this measles outbreak has ended, international importations of measles pose a continued risk of outbreaks in New York City. Further, measles cases continue to occur elsewhere in the United States, including in New York State, posing ongoing risk of reintroduction of measles into NYC neighborhoods where there are pockets of unvaccinated individuals, thus re-igniting community transmission of measles.

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To achieve high population immunity and prevent future outbreaks, providers must ensure that patients receive their first dose of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine at age 12 months and a second dose at age 4 years. Immunizations should be administered on time, with no delay. Providers in previously affected communities no longer need to administer the first dose of MMR vaccine to infants ages 6 to 11 months. However, all children aged 6 to 11 months should receive an early, extra dose of MMR before international travel; this dose does not count towards completion of the routine MMR schedule.

Religious exemptions for all vaccines required to attend school, including MMR vaccine, are no longer valid in New York State. Children should be vaccinated according to state requirements in a timely manner to avoid interruptions in school or day care attendance. Medical exemptions to immunizations are still allowed for children with valid contraindications to immunizations.