As the measles outbreak continues to rage across Rockland County, Ed Day, the county executive, has written to President Donal Trump requesting that all foreign visitors be required to be fully immunized before entering the country.
Since October of last year when seven infected travelers from Israel visited Rockland County there have been 233 cases of measles reported. Day said the request only makes sense in his effort to stop the spread of the disease.
The seven people were the flashpoint for Rockland’s outbreak which has led to multiple hospitalizations in intensive care units and even an infant being born prematurely, said John Lyon, spokesman for Rockland County.
"Our country is in crisis; it is time the Federal Government take steps to protect our citizens," Day wrote.
Currently, there are no vaccination requirements for visitors to the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. It's a different story for immigrants, in which there are 14 vaccines, including one for measles, mumps, and rubella.
Five countries are currently on the CDC's travel notice including Brazil, Japan, Israel, the Philippines, and Ukraine.
"We and the 23 other states suffering through measles outbreaks need your help," Day wrote to the president. "We have taken many steps locally to contain this outbreak, our policy from the start has been to maximize immunizations while minimizing exposures, and we have seen success," he wrote.
He went on to say that more than 20,000 vaccines have been given since the outbreak began and that every effort has been made to attack and eradicate the disease.
Day's letter was also sent to Rockland’s representatives including Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey.
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