immunization

North Carolina health officials are keeping an eye on the measles as it hovers nearby. The latest count by the Centers for Disease Control shows 880 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 24 states, including nearby Tennessee and Georgia.  The CDC says this is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.    State and local health officials have been spreading the “get vaccinated” message with a focus on children.  But what about adults?  BPR’s Helen Chickering checked in with a local health expert.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(Update: 11/29/18) The chicken pox outbreak that began at an Asheville private school in late October is far from over according to the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services.  The latest numbers show 37 students at the Asheville Waldorf School along with 4 people in the community have contracted the virus.  Health officials are not releasing details about the additional cates, saying only rhat they are connected to the  outbreak at the school .  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a chicken pox outbreak is not declared over until 42 days have passed without a new case. 

In a statement on its website, the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services says based on the timing of the most recent case in the community, the outbreak will continue into 2019.  The state health department says it's the largest chicken pox outbreak in the NC since the vaccine was introduced in 1995.  

The Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services says the chicken pox outbreak at an Asheville private school has now spread to more than 30 students. (update: 11/19/2018 - 36)   And as BPR’s Helen Chickering reports,  the school has a history of high vaccine exemption rates.

BPR

State health officials have extended the immunization deadline for public school students to November first - to give more time to families impacted by Hurricane Florence.  Meantime, in Western North Carolina, health officials are facing a different kind of vaccination challenge – the growing number of parents who are choosing not to immunize their children.   BPR’s Helen Chickering has been following the newly formed immunization coalition as it works to reverse that trend.  She checked in with them in September, during one of their meetings.

Jason deBruyn WUNC

The latest numbers from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services show for the 2017-18 school year, Buncombe County once again had the highest number of unimmunized students, who opted for a religious exemption.

On a busy Thursday morning at Asheville Children's Medical Center, Dr. Sam Kohn made the rounds. It was toward the end of summer break, so there were lots of back-to-school check-ups and vaccines on the schedule that day.

Many visits were easy, following the simple routine of parents bringing their tots in for their shots.

In Their Words: Sen. Terry Van Duyn

Apr 9, 2015
Mountain XPress

We’re hearing from state legislators this week who are home for a week-long recess.  WCQS reached out to members of both parties and is airing the interviews in the order they were conducted.  Today the focus is on Terry Van Duyn, a Democratic State Senator of Buncombe County.  We spoke on a range of issues, from the economy and jobs to bills dealing with social issues, which Van Duyn has been an outspoken critic of.

In Their Words: Rep. Brian Turner

Apr 8, 2015
William Woody/Asheville Citizen-Times

This week, state lawmakers are on their version of spring break, and many local legislators are home.  That gave us an opportunity to sit down and talk about the current session with many of them.  We reached out to members of both parties, and will air excerpts from the interviews in the order they were conducted.  We start today with Representative Brian Turner.  He’s a Democrat representing Buncombe County.  The first-term legislator scored an upset win over Tim Moffitt in November’s election, one among just a few bright spots for Democrats in an otherwise tough election cycle.   

Kirk Ross/Carolina Public Press

The General Assembly has begun a rare spring recess.  Lawmakers acted upon dozens of bills before leaving Raleigh yesterday for the Easter weekend and taking next week off. They'll get back to formal business on the week of April 13, although some legislators will return sooner to work on budget matters.  Barely a dozen bills have become law or await Governor Pat McCrory's signature since the session began.

Katie Bailey/Asheville Citizen-Times

Three lawmakers say their proposal to update North Carolina's childhood vaccination regimen and eliminate an immunization exemption on religious grounds is dead less than two weeks after their bill was filed.

The state senators announced Wednesday their measure has already reached a dead-end in the two-year session after hearing "serious concerns" from constituents and other citizens.