The number of cases of measles this year in the United States is nearing the total for all of last year, with five states reporting outbreaks in 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An outbreak, defined as three or more cases, has been reported in New York state, New York City, Washington, Texas, Illinois and California.

The 314 cases nationwide as of March 21 is inching closer to the 372 for all of last year.

In Rockland County, just north of New York, where 155 cases have been confirmed as of Wednesday, County Executive Ed Day declared a state of emergency this week, banning any unvaccinated person under 18 from appearing in a public place. Violations are punishable by a $500 fine or six months in jail.

The ban, which will be in effect for 30 days, prompted a backlash from a small group of anti-vaccination advocates, who protested Thursday at the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack in what they dubbed on Facebook a “Rockland County — Unvaccinated Civil Disobedience.”

“This is about healthy people being quarantined and barred from public places,” said Rita Palma, one of the protesters. “People have a right to choose for their own children and make their own decisions.”

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