Local health authorities insist on the risk of chickenpox after the governor of Kentucky told the story of intentionally infecting his children


Kentucky's governor, Matt Bevin, announced Tuesday in a radio show that he had organized a party with his nine children with the intention of exposing them to chickenpox when he had learned that ###################################################################### 39, a child from his neighborhood had been infected.

"I went there and made sure that every one of my kids was exposed to it and they understood it," said Bevin, a Republican candidate for the first term. "And they had them as children, they were miserable for a few days and they all did well."

Kim Thorburn, who was responsible for health and director of the Spokane Regional Health District from 1997 to 2006, said the parties involved in chickenpox were common. Bevin's story – and the claim that vaccinations should remain the parents' choice – saddened Thorburn, but did not surprise him.

"Vaccines represent a tremendous breakthrough in health. What I realized while I was dealing with anti-vaccination movements as a health worker was that the parents did not have the experience I had, "he said. Thorburn.

Thorburn recounted that she remembered having attended a school with students paralyzed because of polio.

Toward the end of Thorburn's term, she met with many parents who were resistant to the chickenpox vaccine. She was also Chair of the Washington State Board of Health and was involved in developing policies requiring vaccines to enter the school.

"While we are trying to use a vaccine to reduce epidemics and actually eradicate the disease, getting it to school is a good way to increase immunization rates in the community and to prevent it." 39 really encourage its use, "Thorburn said. I said.

In the state of Washington, parents are allowed not to vaccinate their children for religious, medical or philosophical reasons. The philosophical exemptions for any vaccine reach 5.3% of school-aged children during the 2018 school year, with medical exemptions accounting for 1.2%. For the varicella vaccine, 5.4% of school-aged children received exemptions, whether religious, philosophical or medical. Medical exceptions may include immunocompromised individuals (such as cancer chemotherapy), infants, and pregnant women.

"Parents will simply say that they do not believe in the vaccine or that they do not believe in its effectiveness or safety, anyway, so they choose not to have their child vaccinated. it is or not. more antigens, "said Kari Lidbeck, Spokane Community Vaccine Network Specialist.

If parents want their children to be exempted, they should talk to their pediatrician, explain the benefits and risks of vaccination, and sign a form. A bill that would eliminate the philosophical exemption was passed by the Washington House on March 5 and will be considered by a Senate committee on March 29.

Anna Halloran, district health epidemiologist, believes that the public has shifted its fears of diseases themselves to vaccinations because they had no experience of managing these diseases on the ground.

"They do not have any direct knowledge of this disease, so I think that's what we see mainly in the group of vaccine hesitators," Halloran said. "Families have a lot of choices and they are overwhelmed with information."

Thorburn said that there is a misconception that chicken pox is harmless. Although the mortality rate – and even the risk of serious complications – is relatively low, Halloran said that the public should feel responsible for populations at higher risk of serious complications or even death.

"As a community, we are truly responsible for protecting those who can not be vaccinated for a number of reasons," Halloran said.

Herd immunity – a large part of the vaccinated population – protects people who are not vaccinated, because resistance makes it more difficult for the passage of an extremely contagious disease to another. Thorburn said that an 80% inoculation rate in Clark County – the ideal is 95% or more – has contributed to the measles outbreak in the area concerned.

Another disadvantage to never getting the chickenpox vaccine is that chickenpox remains in your system and can manifest as shingles later in life.

"Depending on the circumstances, if you're stressed or if you can develop shingles, it looks like chickenpox in that you get a little blisters, but you feel a lot of pain, and that's basically a pain nervous "says Lidbeck.

Lidbeck recommends that people over 50 get vaccinated against shingles.


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