By Cory Lesniak
A recent measles outbreak in California sparked national debate regarding children getting vaccinated for the disease. The debate is particularly relevant to parents and staff or Dominican’s Goedert Center for Early Childhood Education, located at the Priory Campus.
According to the Department of Children and Family Services, children who attend licensed childcare facilities are legally required to be vaccinated.
Amanda Cardin, Director of the Goedert Center, said: “If a parent has not had their child vaccinated we must have a note stating why. Many times this is due to religious beliefs.”
Cook County health officials are investigating a cluster of measles at a KinderCare Learning Center in Northwest suburban Palatine. Five children have been diagnosed, however, further lab testing resulted in only two children confirmed with measles. All five children are under the age of 1.
“I will be sending a note out to the parents today that will include the press release. We certainly take community, illness of any kind, outbreaks seriously and I stay in touch with our wellness Center,” Cardin said.
The outbreak, which sickened over 100 people, caused many to criticize “anti-vaxxers”—those who refuse to vaccinate their children due to various reasons, such as religion or the belief that vaccines can cause autism or developmental disorders.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the cause of autism is not known.
Despite the outbreak, Cardin said things are staying the same at the Goedert Center with the usual policies in place. If a child has a fever over 101 degrees, they must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to the center.
Measles symptoms can include fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, inflamed eyes, tiny white and blue spots inside the mouth and skin rash. The infection occurs in stages over a period of two to three weeks.
At the Goedert Center, parents have not been notified of any further information regarding the outbreak but administrators plan on sending something out soon.