Sunday 15 September 2019

Fund-raiser 'took measles from New York to Michigan'

A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City earlier this week
A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City earlier this week

Harriet Alexander

The measles epidemic gripping the US was spread to Michigan last month by a New York man who was travelling across the country to raise money for charity, health officials have revealed.

The carrier was fundraising in Brooklyn's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community before he drove to Detroit, where he spread the disease through visits to synagogues and markets.

Feeling ill when he arrived on March 13, he saw a doctor who misdiagnosed his symptoms as bronchitis.

Since the unnamed man arrived in Michigan, 39 cases have been confirmed in the state. "Every one of our cases has had a link to the initial case," said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County in Detroit.

The World Health Organisation yesterday declared the number of measles cases around the world has increased by 300pc in the past year.

The surge in cases in America is believed to be linked to travellers from the tight-knit Jewish community visiting infected areas in Ukraine and Israel and returning home as carriers.

Irish Independent

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