Judge Lawrence Knipel on Thursday refused parents' request to lift the vaccination order that was imposed last week to stem a severe measles outbreak. "A fireman need not obtain the informed consent of the owner before extinguishing a house fire," Knipel wrote in his ruling as quoted by Gothamist. "Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion."
On the same day, the city announced that it was closing four more schools and issuing three civil summons for parents who had failed to comply with the mandate.
As of Thursday, the New York Department of Health had recorded 359 cases of measles since the outbreak began in October, up from 329 confirmed cases on Monday. The cases are centered in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn.
A group of five parents had sued the city over the mandated measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations, claiming that the current outbreaks do not justify "drastic emergency measures" that override individual rights. The lawsuit argued that the outbreak was not a "clear and present danger to public health."