12. 2019 Measles Outbreak

B110 BusThe B110 bus that goes between Williamsburg’s Hasidic neighborhood and Borough Park

In 2019, New York City faced a substantial increase in measles cases from previous years, with 423 confirmed cases by May. New York had previously faced a measles outbreak in the 1980s, when the annual death rate fluctuated between 2,000 and 10,000 people. The areas of Williamsburg and Borough Park in Brooklyn were most affected by the outbreak, and on April 9, 2019, Mayor de Blasio declared a public health emergency.
The declaration required mandatory vaccinations in these areas and charged a $1,000 fine for those who refused. In June 2019, New York enacted a new law repealing religious and philosophical exemptions for vaccination. By early September, the Health Department declared the outbreak to be over.