No new cases have been reported since mid-July, the city’s health department said, but officials will continue keeping track and may add cases retrospectively as they are identified. The city also could see future measles cases emerge that are not associated with this outbreak.
“As we head back to school this week, we just remain vigilant. To keep our children and communities safe, I urge all New Yorkers to get vaccinated. It’s the best defense we have,” de Blasio said.
Fighting the outbreak
To battle the outbreak, the city spent more than $6 million and dedicated more than 500 staff to work on response efforts, which included disseminating messages for people to get vaccinated and hosting community events.
Since the outbreak began in October, more than 5,000 measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations have been administered, according to the city.
“Measles is one of the most contagious diseases on the face of the earth,” New York City health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said in the new statement.
“There may no longer be local transmission of measles in New York City, but the threat remains given other outbreaks in the U.S. and around the world. Our best defense against renewed transmission is having a well immunized city,” Barbot said. “Vaccination coverage has increased significantly since the emergency order, which has been supported by community-led efforts. We are grateful to the New Yorkers who shared the truth about vaccines and protected the health of their friends and neighbors through this outbreak.”
The nation’s measles elimination status still at risk
The World Health Organization removes a country’s elimination status when measles has been spreading continuously for one year.
The measles outbreak in New York City started on September 30, 2018, and has caused more than 600 confirmed cases of measles.
Those two outbreaks have largely been among children in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community whose parents have refused to vaccinate them.
“It certainly is incredibly frustrating and upsetting to the public health community that we may lose measles elimination status, because we do have a safe and effective vaccine,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said last week.