Monday, November 19, 2018

Anti-vaccine community behind North Carolina chickenpox outbreak

Also, chickenpox infection can lead to shingles later in life.

Nov. 19, 2018

A North Carolina school with a large anti-vaccine community is at the heart of the state's largest chickenpox outbreak in decades, officials say.

On Friday 36 students at Asheville Waldorf School were diagnosed with the disease, the Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper reported.

The school has one of the state's highest rates of religious exemption, allowing students to skip vaccination.


Chickenpox is a viral infection that causes a blister-like rash, itching, and fever. In serious cases, it can lead to complications like inflammation of the brain, pneumonia and death.

The virus spreads through contact or coughing and sneezing, though it is not as contagious as measles, which can be spread without any contact.


And though some individuals may still get chickenpox with the vaccine, it is very effective at preventing severe or life-threatening cases.

Vaccinating also helps protect susceptible individuals who are unable to get the vaccine, like pregnant women, infants younger than one-year-old and cancer patients.

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