March 14, 2019 / Brooklyn news / Williamsburg / Health, Mind & Body

Viral violation: More yeshivas defy city orders, allow unvaccinated students in class amid measles outbreak

Earlier offender: The measles virus infected 21 students at Williamsburg's Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov after its educators permitted an unvaccinated, pre-symptomatic kid infected with the virus to attend class. City health officials on Thursday annouced inspectors discovered that leaders of five other neighborhood yeshivas allowed non-vaccinated youngsters in their classrooms amid a growing outbreak of the disease.
The Brooklyn Paper
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Department of Health officials on Thursday announced that leaders of five Williamsburg yeshivas violated an emergency order prohibiting non-vaccinated students from attending school amid a growing outbreak of the measles, which already infected at least 21 youngsters at a sixth yeshiva after educators let a sick kid in class.

The city’s chief physician reiterated the importance of inoculating children against the potentially fatal illness, warning that the disease will continue to claim new victims while Kings County youngsters remain unvaccinated.

“As the city’s doctor, and a pediatrician, I am very concerned that children without the measles vaccination are at unnecessary risk for serious, and potentially fatal symptoms related to measles,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “The outbreak is not over, and we will continue to see additional cases as long as unvaccinated students are not properly excluded from attending school.”

The five new offending yeshivas include:

• Bnos Square of Williamsburg at 382 Willoughby Ave. between Bedford Avenue and Spencer Street.

• Bnos Chayil at 712 Wythe Ave. between Keap and Hooper streets.

• Bnos Chayil at 345 Hewes St. between S. Fifth Street and Broadway.

• Tuferes Bnos at 585 Marcy Ave. between Myrtle and Vernon avenues.

• Sieche Kinder at 808 Myrtle Ave. between Marcy and Nostrand avenues.

And in addition to finding unvaccinated students, city health inspectors found kids infected with measles in classrooms at three of the five. Health Department officials slapped all of the schools with a commissioner’s order, which could lead to fines if the yeshivas’ staff do not follow the so-called “exclusion order” issued in December to stem the spread of the disease.

It is currently too early to tell whether the schools’ indiscretions led to any additional measles cases, according to Health Department spokesman Michael Lanza, who said the audits that uncovered the violations occurred last week.

Thursday’s announcement came weeks after city health officials revealed that educators at Williamsburg’s Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov on Wilson Street allowed a mini outbreak to plague the school, by permitting an unvaccinated, pre-symptomatic student infected with the virus to attend class.

The borough-wide measles outbreak — which officials traced to a Brooklyn resident who contracted the virus in October while visiting Israel, where the illness infected more than 1,000 people — has spread to some 157 local victims, including 137 children, all of whom are members of the Orthodox Jewish community, according to Lanza.

The highly contagious airborne pathogen produces symptoms including fever, cough, and a runny nose, and can cause diarrhea, ear infection, pneumonia, encephalitis, and death — with about 1 of every 1,367 kids infected dying due to fatal complications from measles.

Symptoms can appear anytime from seven to 21 days following exposure, according to the Health Department.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:20 pm, March 14, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Frank from Furter says:
Lock them up
March 14, 2019, 4:42 pm
SCR from Realityville says:
I'm almost 61-years-old. And I have lived in NYC,all my life. Until,about six-months ago,I never heard of any ultra-Orthodox Jewish objection to vaccinating,their children. It must be something new? Whatever,I think that the Rambam,would be horrified;by this?
March 14, 2019, 7:56 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
Close the schools until school officials comply with public health orders. Incredible ignorance is being exhibited by the leaders of those schools.
March 15, 2019, 6:30 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Just because your magical sky-daddy says you can't get them from whoever doesn't mean you get to put the rest of the population in danger.
March 15, 2019, 6:38 am
Michael from Bay Ridge says:
The schools should be shut down until they live up to the health code. The same rules apply to everyone, and it's for the sake of public health. These schools can easily require vaccinations for all their students prior to starting school.
March 15, 2019, 6:40 am
Joe from Bensonhurst says:
When the adults in those schools get shingles from the infected kids is when they will do something. Where is the public outcry, this may be a health emergency in the making. Shut them down for Gods sake.
March 15, 2019, 6:59 am
Religion or not says:
Either they vaccinate like the rest or get out. While you can legally hide beneath the liberal religious veil for tax avoidance and the like, don't try it when it comes to endangering the rest of us, especially our kids.
March 15, 2019, 9:56 am
God says:
All religions are the longest running scams in the history of the world.
March 15, 2019, 11:56 am
Honey says:
Vaccines = poison !!!
March 15, 2019, 12:05 pm
Big Pharma says:
How can an unvaccinated person be a threat to someone who is vaccinated? Disgusting the ignorance and prejudice by so called liberals on this page. Tolerance for everyone else but Religious Jews and Christians.
March 15, 2019, 4:03 pm
Benny from Park Slope says:
Yeshivas (desperate to keep those seats filled with "students" and even more anxious to keep those taxpayer-funded school vouchers coming) ignoring health guidelines? Yeah, I'm shocked. Fcuking typical. And now we'll also have to hear from mouth-breathing conspiracy a-holes about the (bogus and long discredited) "connection" between vaccines and autism, etc. Oy ...
March 15, 2019, 4:26 pm
Frank from Furter says:
Big Pharma-They are a threat to people who are immune compromised. Since they can pass the disease to them. They are also a threat to the very young children who are not yet immunized because the "herd" immune level is compromised. see
March 16, 2019, 3:34 am
Rachel from Brooklyn says:
Frank - you’re basically saying that we should play Russian Roulette (Vaccine Roulette) with our childrens’ lives. Just because of the unlikely chance of a baby going to high school doesn’t mean I’m going to risk my child dying of vaccines!
March 16, 2019, 5:52 am
Joseph from Bed-Stuy says:
Rachel, if you want to protect your children, you should get them vaccinated. Without the vaccine, they will get sick. The chance of dying from the vaccine itself is very small.
March 16, 2019, 2:35 pm
Mathematician from Brooklyn says:
Inbred people have bigger medical concerns than vaccines.
March 16, 2019, 5:06 pm
Falujah De La Poohp from Sunset Park says:
This is crazy! If you don’t vaccinate your kids, you must use essential oils and switch to a vegan diet! Otherwise they’re still susceptible to the TOXINS! There’s no mention of essential oils in this “article”!!?
March 17, 2019, 5:45 am
Frank from Furter says:
I have taken a few days to respond. I believe that government should stay out of telling what people should do unless it injures others. I am pro-choice. I have no trouble if you decide not to vaccinate your child if you keep them home from school and away from other children. Your right to swing out stops at my nose and your children cannot be allowed to infect others. vaccinate or stay home.
March 17, 2019, 12:15 pm
Frank from Furter says:
There is NO scientific evidence that vaccination causes more disease or complications than it prevents. The one "study" that did so was withdrawn and the author stripped of his license. The poor child who failure to get tetanus shot almost died and was in unnecessary excruciating pain.
March 17, 2019, 12:19 pm

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