Wed Apr 17, 2019, 01:30 PM

Measles Outbreak Upends Passover Traditions

As New York health officials fight outbreak in ultra-Orthodox communities, they predict a rise in cases after the holiday

By Melanie Grayce West and Kate King
April 17, 2019 8:00 a.m. ET

The growing measles outbreak is colliding with Passover, one of the holiest Jewish celebrations and a time when families travel to be together.

New York City health officials have warned that the holiday, with its large get-togethers and long, ritual meals, risks spreading measles, which is highly contagious and easily transmitted.

City officials expect the number of measles cases to increase over the next several weeks partly because of gatherings over the holidays, said Herminia Palacio, the city’s deputy mayor for health and human services. The outbreak is worst in ultra-Orthodox communities in Brooklyn, N.Y., and nearby Rockland County.

“We’re very concerned about Passover,” Dr. Palacio said.


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