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Many Orthodox Jewish families are large, and the virus spreads well in packed households, said Kathleen Gallagher, a CDC epidemiologist. She said seating arrangements in religious schools may also be contributing, with students facing each other across tables instead of in rows of desks facing forward.
Since 1989, health officials have recommended that children get two doses of a combination vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella. Birkhead said vaccination rates for Orthodox Jewish kids are about the same as those for other New York schoolchildren.
Among 1,100 from the new outbreak, the CDC said 88 percent had gotten at least one vaccine dose, 75 percent had two doses. Health officials last month began offering a third dose in some schools where the outbreak has persisted. So far, cases are continuing.
"We're not out of the woods yet," said Birkhead.
On the Net:
CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
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