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The measles virus once thought to be eradicated in the United States is now a full-blown epidemic in parts of the country. New York City health officials closed 7 schools amid the worst measles outbreak in 20 years.

2 more Brooklyn schools were closed this week in an effort to contain the outbreak, CBS2 reports. The measles outbreak has spread to 22 states, with at least 704 confirmed cases.

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The city said the schools failed to comply with the health commissioner’s emergency order to keep unvaccinated children away from the schools. Last week, the city issued summonses to 57 people who have been noncompliant with the emergency order.

Measles is a highly contagious infectious viral disease that develops 10-12 days after exposure to an infected child or adult.

The disease is spread by coughing, sneezing, or close personal contact with the secretions of an infected person. The symptoms include a skin rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red inflamed eyes.

Officials have spearheaded a massive drive to get New York residents vaccinated.

The health department urges Gen Xers, those people born between 1965 and 1980, to get vaccinated against the measles, mumps and rubella. The CDC says the MMR booster shot is very safe and effective.

The measles vaccine was first introduced in 1963. Early versions of the vaccine were not as effective as today’s shots.


  • Measles Information Page
  • Where To Get Immunizations In New York City
  • Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR)
  • Signs And Symptoms
  • CDC Measles Statistics
    Stock photos by Spencer Platt, Motortion/ Getty Images