Williamston Public Schools parents address measles vaccine debate

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By Meagan Beck
The Williamston Post

Cough, high fever and a large rash covering the body.

In January, the Michigan Department of Community Health confirmed Michigan’s first measles case of 2015.

For parents of school-aged children, the age when catching a disease from classmates is common, the debate on vaccinations is more prevalent.

Billy Palmer, a father of a child enrolled in WIlliamston Public Schools, said the choice belongs to the parent, and he is for vaccinations.

“Way back in the day when we didn’t have them, that’s why many people died, because we didn’t have these vaccinations,” Palmer said.

The first reported Michigan case of the year involved an adult from Oakland County and may have been connected to the Disneyland outbreak which occurred in December.

An infected visitor to the Magic Kingdom section of the theme park in California is believed to be the source of outbreaks that have stemmed across the country and now in Canada.

Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health said in a statement the best way to prevent infection is by getting vaccinated.

“As we are seeing with the recent outbreak in California, measles is a highly communicable disease that can affect both children and adults,” Davis said.

Anna Filice-Schiemann, another parent of a child enrolled in WIlliamston Public Schools, said parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are relying on others to fix the problem.

“I think they’re going on good will of other people getting vaccinations to protect their kids,” Filice-Schiemann said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles symptoms might not appear until seven to 14 days after infection

In addition to the typical rash, cough and fever, which could spike to 104 degrees, runny nose and red, watery eyes are symptoms of measles.

The rash may not be present for two to three days after other symptoms begin.

“I would hope an infected kid wouldn’t be in the school,” Palmer said.

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