Case of measles sparks vaccinations debate - KCTV5

Case of measles sparks vaccinations debate

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A case of the measles in the metro has sparked talk about a very controversial topic - vaccinations.

Anywhere - on the playground, in the daycare - children could be carrying a deadly virus, and while some parents try to vaccinate against those viruses, others do not. Many are left wondering how they protect their children.

Whether or not to vaccinate your children, the decision varies here in Kansas City.

"I absolutely think you should vaccinate your children," said Melissa Spooner

"I think it's a parent's decision, they know what's best for their own children," said someone who only wishes to go by Gerald.

"For us it's important because we are international people, foreigners," said a father named Naif.

But some local pediatricians like Dr. Natasha Burgert feel vaccinations are essential to protecting children's health and the health of others.

"Those vaccinations are not a cure, they are your best shield to be protected from those diseases," Burgert said.

After hearing that a Clay County infant was diagnosed with measles, Burgert with KC Kids Doc says it's no surprise considering the uptake in measles cases in the U.S.

"Measles is so contagious that if you sneeze in a room, the measles particles can float in the air for up to two hours after you leave the room and you can still be infected just by walking into that room," she said.

She said infants don't typically get their vaccinations for MMR - measles, mumps and rubella - until they are at least a year old, but she recommends it if people are traveling with an infant at least 6 months old.

"I would be thinking about your Disney trips, highly internationally populated areas, these are places that a 6-month-old should be given [vaccines] before you go," Burgert said.

Parents like Spooner say she believes in vaccinations.

"Until you see a disease such as measles actually kill or take a life, it's hard to realize what vaccinations can do for you or your community," she said.

If you are traveling internationally with an infant 6 months or older, Burgert recommends vaccinations at least two weeks before you go. It takes that long for vaccinations to take effect.

The Clay County infant was treated and released from Children's Mercy North hospital for measles. Doctors said the baby got the disease while traveling out of the country.

While the disease can be deadly, so far doctors say the child will be OK.

The baby was also just an infant and most kids don't get the measles vaccine until they're about a year old.

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