MONSEY, N.Y. (CBS) It's being called a public health crisis. Outbreaks of measles continue to spread, with more states reporting cases of the highly contagious disease. One New York community is struggling to contain an outbreak.
Lincoln Andrews is getting the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine. The four-year old is on schedule for his vaccine, but his little sister Lyla got her MMR shot a few weeks ago at 6-months-old, months earlier than usual.
"Obviously, I'm concerned, I have young children. I'm just glad she is at the age where she can get the vaccine," said Amy Andrews, Lyla's mom.
The Andrews family lives in New York's Rockland County, where one of the largest measles outbreaks in the country is happening right now and spreading. Nationwide, 465 cases have been reported in 19 states so far this year, the second highest number since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000. The New York cases have occurred mostly among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities.
Pediatrician Dr. Alanna Levine says her office is educating concerned parents. "it's probably one of the most contagious viruses out there. If you've been in a room with somebody who's had the measles, you have a 90 percent chance of getting the measles if you haven't been properly immunized.
Health officials are holding free clinics around Rockland County to try to encourage people to get the vaccine.
"What we really need is for parents to get their kids vaccinated on time according to the recommended schedule so that we can protect patients who are too young or too sick to be vaccinated," Levine said
Benjamin Bodenheim came to the clinic because he is not sure if he's fully vaccinated against the measles. "I am going away for Passover so as a precaution I am actually just getting another shot even though I may have gotten the second shot," he said.
He said he's not taking any chance in the middle of this outbreak.