Germany's health minister has proposed a fine of up to $2,800 for parents who refuse to immunize their school-age children against measles after a resurgence of the disease.
The measles outbreak continued to grow this past week, with 60 new cases added to its already-astronomical total for this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
"Years ago they didn't realize because of the time lag that it was related to having a measles case, but we know that now", she said. Topping the list was Italy, with 2,498 reported cases.
The most widespread US measles outbreak in a quarter-century has infected 60 new patients in the last week, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 764, federal health officials said on Monday.
Germany, which has a population of over 82 million residents, is considering this legal action in reaction to 203 reported cases of measles in the first 10 weeks of 2019.
The crackdown was in response to a measles outbreak affecting the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg, and unvaccinated people living in select ZIP codes will now be required to receive the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, known as MMR, to curtail the outbreak and protect others.
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"It's not just the measles virus itself that is potentially severe and potentially fatal, it's all these secondary infections that are going to lead to time out of school, ER visits, doctor's visits", he said.
As of April 23, there were 14 cases of measles reported in New Jersey.
"Those numbers are not really as high as they should be", said Dr. Jennifer Lighter, an epidemiologist at NYU Langone Health hospital in NY.
The CDC recommends two doses of the MMR vaccine: the first dose for children when they are between 12 and 15 months old and the second when children are 4 to 6 years old.
Officials have also warned that certain adults living in areas hard-hit by the epidemic, which include parts of California, New Jersey and MI, may need another shot to ensure that they are protected from measles.
Experts generally say if more than 95% of the population is properly immunized, measles can not spread easily and is effectively contained.