March 7, 2019 / Brooklyn news / Williamsburg / Health, Mind & Body

Measles virus infects 21 victims after leaders of Williamsburg yeshiva allow sick kid in class

Out sick: Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov in Williamsburg, where 21 cases of measles originated amid a larger borough-wide outbreak affecting mainly Orthodox Jewish children.
The Brooklyn Paper
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Educators at a Williamsburg yeshiva allowed a virulent measles outbreak to infect 21 new victims by letting an unvaccinated child attend class there, according to the city’s chief physician, who urged parents to inoculate their kids against the potentially fatal illness.

“As a pediatrician, I can’t stress enough how critical it is to vaccinate children against measles,” said Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Measles is a serious, highly contagious, and potentially deadly infection. Complications and fatalities are rare but do happen.”

Leaders of Wilson Street’s Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov permitted the unvaccinated youngster to mingle with his mates, even though the school is subject to an emergency-health measure that mandates schools within certain parts of Williamsburg and Borough Park — where the measles virus infected 121 people since October — prohibit kids who have not received the required number of doses of the MMR vaccine from attending classes, according to Health Department reps.

The unvaccinated pupil did not display symptoms at the time, but already contracted the virus, and the highly contagious airborne pathogen soon swept through the school.

Health Department spokesman Michael Lanza could not immediately say when the outbreak at Kehilath Yakov began, and added that agency officials have yet to issue any violations or penalties in the wake of the new infections. But Barbot issued a signed “commissioner’s order” reinforcing the emergency mandate to yeshiva leaders, who may be penalized if they further violate the demand, according to Lanza.

Health Department sleuths tracked the wider outbreak of the disease in Brooklyn to an initial case a Kings Countian contracted during an October visit to Israel, where another outbreak of the virus is in full swing. In the five boroughs, the illness has only spread among members of the Orthodox Jewish community, with all but one case originating in Kings County, according to agency spokeswoman Stephanie Buhle.

And news of the 21 additional measles cases prompted Orthodox Councilmen Kalman Yeger (D–Borough Park) and Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay) to join city health officials and other experts in their calls for vaccination, with Yeger stressing the importance of immunization to members of his community.

“It is imperative that parents immediately vaccinate their children,” he said. “It is just as imperative that our parents and yeshivas take all the necessary precautions to keep unvaccinated children away from harm.”

Kehilath Yakov staffers declined to comment.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Posted 12:00 am, March 7, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Falicshia from Flatbush says:
But none of Them caught AUTISM, now did they?? How is that?
March 7, 2019, 5:14 am
God says:
Religion is the biggest scam and cause of all the worlds problems.
March 7, 2019, 8:08 am
Jesus from Bensonhurst says:
Rules regulations and local laws do not apply to certain people. Make me !
March 7, 2019, 9:32 am
Frank from Furter says:
a lot of Hasidic children have autism.I hope none of tghe children are immune compromised as it will be very bad for them.
March 7, 2019, 9:46 am
TOM from Sunset Park says:
"Countian"? Is there such a word?
March 7, 2019, 9:56 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Vaccines cause autism. Better to get measles than to have autism forever.
March 7, 2019, 10:23 am
God says:
Don’t listen to my son, he’s an idiot hippy.
March 7, 2019, 10:46 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
That impostor is wrong. I got measles in 1956, when I was five years old and in kindergarten, before vaccines existed. I got very sick and ran a high fever. I had to be given tetracyline, then a pretty serious drug, which stained and weakened my teeth, most of which had only recently come in. I had to be put in a dark room and had a severe earache and although it was many years ago and I was very young, I can still remember lying in bed feeling so sick and scared that I was going to die, which I could have. I feel bad for any child who has to go through what I did with measles when a vaccine -- proven safe over decades of use -- could easily have prevented their suffering. And yes, people still can die from measles. (No one ever died from autism although no reputable scientist or physician has ever proven any link whatsoever.) There are too many evil people in this world, this country, this city and this borough. They will spew their hatred without care for the harmless little children. It's pretty pathetic.
March 7, 2019, 10:47 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
That’s why all my teeth are rotten or missing.
March 7, 2019, 10:56 am
Janet from Park Slope says:
The headline is misleading. The school's allowing ALL the unvaccinated kids to attend, and therefore be exposed, is why this happened. The school administrators aren't and shouldn't be expected to know if a child is likely to transmit a virus.
March 7, 2019, 11:30 am
Billy deBozo from Sanctuary City says:
They took down a post about illegal immigration but kept one up about all religion beign a scam. Once again this commie rag is showing its true colors.
March 7, 2019, 12:29 pm
Ro from Park Slope says:
There are loopholes in all immunization laws for any family in private or public schools. The laws should be reviewed for the safety of all.
March 7, 2019, 2:15 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Having nothing better to do with your life than constantly spam comment threads as a weak impersonator is probably the result of being unvaccinated and having an incurable brain disease. Vaccinate your kids dummies. Don’t end up like vision zero.
March 7, 2019, 2:46 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Having nothing better to do with your life than constantly spam comment threads as a weak 68 year old fart is probably the result of being unvaccinated [not a word] and having an incurable brain disease. Vaccinate your kids dummies. Don’t end up like me. Weak and feeble with a bigotted past from 1951
March 7, 2019, 4:01 pm
God says:
Religion is a scam and bigotry is not protected speech, you trumpian snowflake! An old fart should shut his mouth before he gets beat to death, Henry.
March 7, 2019, 4:02 pm
Silky Milky Bernard from Flatbush says:
Catch 22 - get a vaccine, then die of vaccines. Don’t get a vaccine, and die of measles .
March 7, 2019, 4:27 pm
Fred from Windsor Terrace says:
Parents who don’t vaccinate their children should be jailed for child abuse.
March 8, 2019, 8:10 am
Michael says:
Fred - what about parents of obese children who feed them junk food? Jail too?
March 8, 2019, 8:57 am
Fred from Windsor Terrace says:
Michael, Yes! Same for parents who smoke around their children. Obesity and lung cancer are an epidemic.
March 8, 2019, 10:30 am
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
Don't be naive Henry. The troll works at the paper.
March 8, 2019, 11:38 am
Shanna from California says:
So....I'm slightly confused? The school allowed an unvaciinated student into school and is in trouble because this one kid they let in in got 21 other kids sick? So that leads me to believe the 21 other kids were wouldn't they get in trouble for letting the other 21 kids attend school if they weren't? Which then I ask if they were vaccinated...then how in the world did they get measles?
March 8, 2019, 5:43 pm
BkAnn from Bay Ridge says:
Thank you Shanna that's my question too. How did those 21 children contract measles if they were all vaccinated? Sounds to me like there might be a bigger problem at this school than just ONE unvaccinated child.
March 8, 2019, 9:06 pm

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