Over the past few months, 5 News has been alerting you to the measles outbreaks that have been happening across the nation, but did you know our state has one of the lowest rates around?
This May, measles was at a 20 year high in the U.S. The CDC said there were almost 300 identified cases. What's even worse is this contagious disease was considered to be completely gone about 14 years ago.
In our state though, it's a different story. There hasn't been a measles outbreak in our state since 1994. Experts said that's because our state doesn't allow children to enroll in kindergarten without getting their full roster of vaccines, no matter their parents' personal or spiritual beliefs may be.
The only exception is for rare medical cases. One retired Marion County school teacher said she remembers just how strict the school system is about vaccinations.
"I taught middle school in Marion County. The rules are there and I didn't ever have any students that had measles. It does aggravate me that our state is given such a bad rap. I'm happy to see that we have something where we are not getting a bad rap," said Joan Schneider, a retired teacher.
Our state's vaccination rate is at about 96%, which is above the national average of 94.5%.