Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed in a press conference that their have been 285 cases confirmed since October 2018, increasing from just two in 2017. The outbreak has mainly been confined to the Orthodox Jewish community in the neighbourhood of Williamsburg and most of the cases involve children.
Five patients have been admitted to intensive care and 21 hospitalised.
New York City is just the centre of the outbreak, with a total of 465 cases reported in another 19 states.
“This is the epicentre of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately,” de Blasio told Reuters.
Rabbi David Niederman, the president of the United Jewish Organisations of Williamsburg, revealed that misinformation around vaccinations had circulated in the community, aiding the crisis. Despite no evidence, some parents have bought into the idea that vaccinations can cause disorders such as autism.
“You get phony, phony articles and studies, so yes, some people will fall for that,” he said.
“They will do anything and everything to improve the health of their children.”