Cases of measles and chickenpox are spreading in North Carolina and South Carolina, respectively, leading public health officials in both states to urge residents to get themselves and their children vaccinated. At least 12 students have been diagnosed with chickenpox at a single private school in Asheville, NC. Buncome County, which includes Asheville, has North Carolina’s highest rate of kindergarteners who have not been immunized because of religious exemptions. Without immunization, chickenpox is highly contagious. Similarly, unimmunized residents are thought to be the root of a measles outbreak in South Carolina, where the number of cases doubled in less than a week. All six cases are confined to Spartanburg County; they represent the first cases of measles to be confirmed in the entire state in 20 years, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Urgent care providers in all states can do a public health service by continuing to ask patients (and parents) about immunization status, offer immunizations to those who are lacking, and trying to educate patients who may have misconceptions about immunization in general.

 

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Are Spreading in the Carolinas
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