The first major measles outbreak in New York State this year may have started in upstate New York, but it’s officially reached the epicenter — New York City.

For several months, officials in New York City have been encouraging members of ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in the Brooklyn area of New York City to vaccinate their children in an attempt to squash the rapidly growing number of measles cases in the region. In addition to providing education about the vaccine and talking to local rabbis, they have also tried keeping unvaccinated children from attending school.

Despite those efforts, there have been 285 confirmed cases of the infection since September with 21 of them leading to hospitalization. It’s the largest measles outbreak the city has seen in over three decades. So this week, officials took a more staunch approach — Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency.

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On March 21, 1963, Maurice R. Hilleman's daughter woke him up. She had a sore throat.

When he examined her, he realized that she had swelling beneath her jaw.

He knew immediately that this was no ordinary sore throat. She had mumps.

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March of Dimes

James Gaines explains: 4 epically wrong myths about the HPV vaccine.

America is a bit behind on the HPV vaccination trend. I'll explain why that's a problem.

Remember when I explained how polio isn't really a thing anymore in the U.S.?

A polio victim in 1947. Photo by Sonnee Gottlieb/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

That's because we invented and then distributed vaccines to as many people as possible. Today, polio's gone from a modern scourge to a hazy shadow, infecting fewer than three dozen people in 2015. And even with a recent set back in Nigeria, we're incredibly close to making polio a thing of the past.

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