Vaccine clinics busy in measles-afflicted Rockland, Westchester counties as Passover looms

WHITE PLAINS, Westchester County (WABC) -- Little Faye Zubi walked out with a wave -- and her dad's mind at ease. The three-and-a-half-year-old just received her second MMR vaccine.

"I feel secure now, so she can gather with kids and go to public parks and others, and she's immune," said Ghaith Zubi, her father.

The Zubi family lives in Westchester County, where there's growing fear over the measles. The county confirmed eight cases of the measles -- all children -- in the Mt. Kisco/Bedford area, and certain communities are at risk of exposure.

In neighboring Rockland County, the 193 cases in the last 6 months were reported, and in New York City, there have been 285 cases.

In response, the Westchester County Health Department offered its first measles vaccine clinic Friday.

"Measles could be communicable for two hours after an individual who's affected leaves the area, so parents are concerned about their children being at risk, so that's why a vaccine is so important," said Lori Smittle, a nursing supervisor.

Rockland County is also operating its own measles clinic, although this is far from its first, with the disease plaguing its Orthodox Jewish community.

County officials have struggled to contain the outbreak. The county executive even tried declaring a state of emergency to encourage vaccination.

Now there's an extra sense of urgency with the Passover holiday approaching, as families prepare to gather in prayer. That's why Benjamin Bodenheim, who's traveling to Florida, got a booster shot.

"In Orlando, there's over 10,000 families that are going to be in Orlando ... You want to make sure to go ahead and make sure you're not going to have a problem if somebody does bring it," he said.

This week, the health department notified residents of possible measles exposures. If you visited the following areas or used the following taxis at these times, you may be at risk:

-- Spring Valley Drug Pharmacy, located at 180 E. Central Avenue, Spring Valley on Thursday, April 4 from 1:44 p.m. to 1:46 pm with risk of exposure until 3:46 pm, and on Friday, April 5 from 2:10 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. with a risk of exposure until 4:30 p.m.

-- Hudson Valley Radiology, located at 18 Squadron Blvd., New City on Thursday, April 4 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., with risk of exposure until 7:15 p.m.
-- International Taxi that initially traveled to Hudson Valley Radiology, located at 18 Squadron Blvd., New City Thursday, April 4 from 3:50 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a risk of exposure until 6:30 p.m.
-- International Taxi that initially traveled from Hudson Valley Radiology, located at 18 Squadron Blvd., New City on Thursday, April 4 from 5:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. with a risk of exposure until 7:45 pm.
-- La Familia Taxi that initially traveled from Refuah Health Center, located at 728 N. Main Street, Spring Valley, on Thursday, April 4 from 1:00 p.m. to 1:06 p.m. with a risk of exposure until 3:06 p.m.

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