Parents of three children from separate Brooklyn households found to be in violation of a mandatory measles vaccination order face the first fines over such a case in at least a century, reports the Washington Post. New York City health officials issued summonses to the parents Thursday after finding the children were exposed to measles but hadn't been vaccinated by the end of last week, per NBC New York. Fines of $1,000 apply if the summonses are upheld at a hearing. Health officials also closed four schools that failed to meet vaccination requirements.
Also Thursday, a judge struck down a lawsuit from five parents who sought to fight the order applying to certain zip codes of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They argued that New York City's worst measles outbreak in 28 years—with 359 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, up from 329 on Monday—wasn't dangerous enough to warrant it. "A fireman need not obtain the informed consent of the owner before extinguishing a house fire," Judge Lawrence Knipel countered, reports Gothamist. "Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion." Health officials expect the outbreak to worsen, as it can take up to three weeks for symptoms to appear. (Read more measles stories.)