Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, a health commissioner in the suburbs of New York, is "overwhelmed". Since October he struggles to keep up one of the worst outbreaks of measles registered in the United States over the last 20 years.
Among their daily battles is a constant repetition that vaccines do not cause other diseases, do not cause autism, and that the practice of using fetal tissue for vaccine production has been completed several decades ago.
Neglecting so much "junk science" absorbs much of its energy while working on educating and convincing 300,000 Rockland County residents to work with health authorities while alerting them to new cases of illness.
In his 27-year medical practice, Ruppert assures him "It's the toughest medical crisis" with whom he had to face.
Until Friday, Ospices – officially abolished from the United States in 2000 – were hit by 167 people in this county on the Hudson River, with nine cases this week.
Of the six regional epidemics of measles reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Rockland County is the most concentrated.
Since October, every case has been systematically investigated to determine how many people were exposed to a highly contagious virus.
Those who were exposed were contacted to make sure they were immunized and if not vaccinated.
Ten free clinics for vaccination were installed in the district where up to date 17,564 doses were applied.
The goal is increase the present rate of vaccination by 72%Ruppert said. It is believed that a 95% rate is needed to prevent an epidemic.
On Monday, county officials will meet with medical and legal experts to identify new strategies to combat the epidemic. This, after the county took an unprecedented measure on March 26: to prohibit untrained children in schools and in public places.
Health experts welcomed this decision, but dozens of parents with children in public schools sued the county, asserting that the measure was disproportionate, especially since mortality was not recorded.
And on Friday they got a partial victory when the referee asked for power Remove the ban of any child with "religious exclusion", at least until April 19th.
And for many residents of the "religious exemption" district, it is precisely the center of discussion about the resuscitation of the measles and the use of the vaccine movement.
Like most countries in the country – all but three – New York requires a series of vaccines for schoolchildren, but allows for exceptions for medical and religious reasons.
In Rockland, the Jewish community represents about a third of the population, including a large number of Orthodox Jews.
It puts the community at the center of the debate on vaccination, increasing the risk of anti-Semitism, said Gary Siepser, chairman of the Rockland County Jewish Foundation.
He emphasizes this There are anti-vaccines in the Jewish community and in other sectors that rely on religious reasons to justify, although in the end they are simply motivated by their beliefs against the opposite vaccine.
"You will not find rabbis that state the Jewish law to tell people that you should not be vaccinated," he said, assuring that his federation, like other Jewish organizations, encourages vaccination.
"It's shocking that (…) suddenly parents have to worry that their children can get lethal disease," said Siepser. "As if the clock was withdrawn, it was crazy!"
Several Orthodox mothers that AFP has requested this week have criticized the parents of the vaccine movement. One of them was Cindy Scher, with four children aged 7 to 17 who were vaccinated. "It's really scary," he said.
"We share the same roads, the same shops, we all have to communicate. We can not just worry about your religious beliefs, your religious beliefs," he said as he left a basketball supermarket in Monsey, epicenter of the Parish Orthodox community.
As a result, some representatives in New York have suggested this week the law on termination of vaccination exemption.
"I think that's a great idea," said Rupert, a health trustee.
However, the decision of the judge in favor of the vaccine strength makes it difficult for the already difficult discussion.
"This is a country that has an interesting relationship with religion, a country founded by people seeking some sort of religious freedom," Siepser said. "The question is at what point ends a person's freedom, and the other's right is beginning?"