haredim harvesting 311.
(photo credit: AP)
There have been 3,400 reported cases of the mumps since January, 2,400 of them
in the Jerusalem area alone – compared to six to 10 cases during an ordinary
year, according to National Council for the Child chairman Dr. Yitzhak
Kadman asked the Health Ministry this week for an explanation,
since the mumps/measles/rubella (MMR) vaccine is generally given to protect
children from the infectious viral disease.
Last November, the Health
Ministry’s epidemiology department issued a directive about mumps, saying that
within the two months before that date, there had been an outbreak of the
disease, that 78 percent of the patients had been males aged 10 to 24 – and that
most had occurred in haredi yeshivot in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Petah Tikva and
The number of cases in kindergartens and schools has been
small, Dr. Itamar Grotto, the ministry’s chief of public health, told The
“The origin of the outbreak was in haredi
yeshivot in Brooklyn, New York and in New Jersey, but there are also reports of
mumps out of Holland, England and Germany in recent months that had nothing to
do with the haredi community,” he asserted.
“We are not worried,” Grotto
added. “It is under control.”
The number of cases has been on the decline
The ministry urges everyone to make sure children get
vaccinated with the MMR vaccine, even though no vaccine offers 100%
and this particular vaccine is less effective than others that protect
Most people who get the MMR vaccine at age one and
age six are protected against mumps, Grotto assured.
The ministry has
sent information in recent months to the haredi media and to rabbis and