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Judge upholds New York law outlawing religious exemptions to vaccinations required for kids in school or day care


Measles, also known as morbilli, rubeola, or red measles, is a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus. Initial signs and symptoms typically include fever, often greater than 40 °C (104.0 °F), cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Two or three days after the start of symptoms, small white spots may form inside the mouth, known as Koplik's spots. A red, flat rash which usually starts on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body typically begins three to five days after the start of symptoms. Symptoms usually develop 10–12 days after exposure to an infected person and last 7–10 days. Complications occur in about 30% and may include diarrhea, blindness, inflammation of the brain, and pneumonia among others. Rubella (German measles) and roseola are different diseases. (Hailshadow/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A state supreme court judge upheld a recent New York law that outlaws religious exemptions from vaccinations that children in school or day care are required to get.

Amid an outbreak of measles in the city and around the country, New York state lawmakers repealed the religious exemption in June, angering anti-vaxxers who believed the move was unconstitutional.

Families who had used the exemption sued and argued the repeal violated their rights of religious expression.

But State Supreme Court Judge Denise Hartman upheld the law, citing precedent supporting vaccination requirements, according to the Associated Press. Noting a 1944 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, she wrote in a decision that the right to practice religion doesn’t include the right to expose the community to disease.

Michael Sussman, a civil rights attorney representing anti-vaxxers and others who want the exemption back, said on Monday that they would appeal the decision.

The city’s measles outbreak has been concentrated in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish communities.

Health officials have identified 654 measles cases since the outbreak began last September, according to the most recent numbers.

With News Wire Services