NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - More than 600 cases of measles have been confirmed in New York State since September. Of those cases, 466 are in Brooklyn and Queens as of May 6, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community.
In April, the New York City health commissioner ordered every adult and child who lives, works or resides in certain ZIP codes in Brooklyn and hadn't previously been vaccinated to get the measles, mumps and rubella shot.
"Right now, we still see a highly localized outbreak in the Williamsburg community, even though there have been sporadic infections outside of the neighborhood," Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the health commissioner, said in a statement. "One reason we have not seen secondary infections outside this community is because so many people are vaccinated, underscoring the importance of vaccination."
From October through May 6, more than 22,000 doses of the MMR vaccine were given to people under 19 in Williamsburg and Borough Park, which are predominately Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.
The health commissioner is urging New Yorker to remain calm.
"The best way to protect yourself as well as family, friends, neighbors and fellow New Yorkers is to make sure that you are immune from the measles if you have not already done so," Barbot said.
The CDC recommends that children get two doses of MMR vaccine. The first dose is given when the child is between 12 months and 15 months of old and the second dose is given between 4 and 6 years of age.
However, the New York State Health Department is advising doctors in affected areas to inform parents of the option of giving an infant an early dose of the vaccine as an additional layer of protection.
This ongoing measles outbreak, which has now spread coast to coast, is the worst the U.S. has seen in 25 years, according to the CDC.