Measles Outbreak at Ozark Adventist Academy Evidently Due to Lack of Immunizations
by AT News Team
The Associated Press (AP) and the CBS affiliate television station in Fort Smith, Arkansas, have reported that Ozark Adventist Academy sent home ten of its 159 students on Tuesday (August 28) because they have not been immunized for measles. Two of these children are from the same family and have been diagnosed with measles along with a sibling who is not a student at the school, according to the reports.
Outbreaks of measles often occur when American children return from overseas travel, according to public health authorities. One of these children had recently come back from a trip that included time in Romania, Switzerland and Italy. A nurse practitioner at the school first noticed a child with symptoms, reported KFSM-KSNW television Channel 5 in Fort Smith.
Eight more students were sent home because they did not have up-to-date vaccinations, Mike Dale, the academy principal, told the television news. The two students with symptoms will be kept home for 21 days because of health department requirements, Dale said. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is running tests to verify if they have measles, according to the television news.
The law in Arkansas allows parents to keep their children from being immunized for childhood communicable diseases if they have a “philosophical” objection to vaccinations. The number using this exemption has increased from a few hundred in 2003 to more than 3,600 in 2011. This is less than one percent of the statewide number of school-age children, but it is growing at a rapid rate.