Local News

Judge upholds Wake measles quarantine

Posted August 12, 2016

— A Wake County family is fighting a mandatory quarantine after a boy contracted measles overseas.

Local public health officials confirmed the boy had the virus on Aug. 2 – nine days after the family returned from a European vacation – and they ordered the family remain quarantined at home for three weeks while checking themselves daily for symptoms.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms begin with a fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes, followed by a rash that typically appears first on the face, along the hairline or behind the ears and then spreads to the rest of the body.

Complications from measles can include pneumonia, diarrhea and ear infections. Severe complications can be fatal. Infants, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are more at risk of complications from measles, officials said.

Immunization is the best protection from measles. Two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine are about 97 percent effective at preventing a person from contracting the disease.

"If you put 10 people in the room who are not vaccinated and expose them to a case of measles, nine of them would become sick. So, that kind of tells you the importance of getting vaccinated," said Dr. Kimberly McDonald, medical director of Wake County Human Services.

Quarantine orders are often issued in cases of communicable diseases, and violating one could result in up to two years in jail.

The boy's parents were released from the quarantine after submitting immunization records showing they had been vaccinated against measles, but they couldn't produce records for their daughter, according to a court filing.

The girl hasn't exhibited any symptoms of measles, but county health officials denied the family's request to have her tested for antibodies to demonstrate that she is immune to the virus, the court filing states.

"(The family) believes that Department is unfamiliar with proper quarantine procedures and is improvising to (the family's) detriment," the filing states.

The names of those involved have been redacted from the filing.

The family wants the girl released from the quarantine because of job obligations and their desire to attend a friend's wedding, according to the court filing.

Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway held a hearing Thursday over the phone and upheld the quarantine, which runs through Aug. 23.


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  • Pearing Whitesowa Aug 15, 2016
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    These "SIMPLE STATISTICS" that you speak of come from the CDC. That would be the same CDC where Julie Gerberding was director from 2002 to 2009 until she left to join Merck as the president of Merck’s Vaccine division. The pharmaceutical industry is the richest and most powerful political lobby in the world. Now this appears to be a conflict without even discussing how much she earns or how much Merck stock she owns. Quote some "Simple Statistics" from a source other than the CDC whom I no longer trust. I have not said "don't vaccinate" but I strongly encourage anyone to "investigate before you do vaccinate".

  • Nicolle Leney Aug 14, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Pearing, regardless that the parents did not vaccinate their child, the fact is, the family fought the quarantine because it inconvenienced them. Their son exposed who knows how many people at the Y to measles, including young babies who are not able to be vaccinated yet. But now, instead of being cautious and waiting the appropriate time that the health authorities asked for, this family is more concerned about making a wedding? While I don't agree, if you make the choice to not vaccinate your child, you need to go above and beyond to make sure your child doesn't infect someone who cannot be vaccinated. And that means keeping your child quarantined until the health authorities say it can end.

    I personally believe if the teen son got anyone sick who could not get vaccinated (like babies, immunocompromised, etc) the family should have to pay for that person's medical bills. I know it will never happen, but it should be the way.

  • Jamie France Aug 13, 2016
    user avatar

    Pearing appears to have fled the light of simple statistics shown on is dark ignorance. It's a simple numbers game. A much smaller percentage of people have problems with the vaccines. MUCH, So, even if those were severe reactions - I'd much rather have that small number, versus the huge numbers of those with severe complications or death from the diseases. I'd much rather have 1% of all children die from a vaccine, and 99% live, than 10% die from the disease and 90% live (these %s are made up just as an example)

  • Pei Nisiniu Aug 13, 2016
    user avatar

    Science strikes again.

  • Sara Hauser Aug 13, 2016
    user avatar

    Pearing I am not big Pharma nor am I ignorant . No need to insult to prove a point. I am a nurse who works in public health, so yes, I have done plenty of research. I have also ssen people die from diseases that are now preventable with vaccines. I administer them daily in my job and they do work. What are your qualifications that make you an expert on them?

  • Ben Hill Aug 13, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Interesting that you base your assumption that it's better to get measles or mumps based solely on your own personal experience and a google search. The problem with people doing their own research in these areas is that they generally lack the background knowledge to correctly interpret what they find. But that's okay, with your experiences and google behind you, I'm sure you know much more than all those people with 4 years of med school and formal medical training. Thanks for the advice Dr. Whitesowa, but you neglect to account for the millions who have died or suffered permanent injury from these now preventable diseases because vaccines weren't available to them.

  • Betsy Sparks Aug 13, 2016
    user avatar

    Pearing, I did google vaccine injured child and found a CDC report stating that from 2006-2014 there were 19,055 cases or reported hospitalization, disability, deaths, or life-threatening illnesses. I also looked up the rubella epidemic that occurred in the 1960's before the MMR vaccine was used. Between 1962 and 1965, there were 11,250 abortions and miscarriages and 2,199 deaths. Abortions were happening because pregnant women who got rubella in their first trimester had an 85% chance of their child being affected. During the epidemic there were 20,000 children born with severe disabilities because of rubella. In the late 50's, before the measles vaccine, the average number of people hospitalized each year because of measles complications was 48,000. I'm not discounting the fact that there can be complications for some children because of vaccines. But the numbers before the vaccinations were introduced showed that the illnesses impacted so many more people than the vaccines.

  • Marie Brandsdorfer Aug 12, 2016
    user avatar

    I was vaccinated as a child, but the year I got the MMR was the year they tried a different vaccine.
    I wasn't aware of this until I was pregnant with my first child.
    Thank goodness we were both okay.
    I got the chicken pox at 19 and was very ill. I got them twice once when I was 8 and then at 19. A mothere brought her daughter into the restaurant I was working at. I was a healthy 19 year old I lost my job because I couldn't work for 21 days the incubation period of chicken pox
    I hope this family can see just how dangerous this can be.
    I had a preterm baby at 8 months. I would have been devistated if he had gotten sick just from being out in the open air. ( which his dr. Said was the best)

  • Sara Hauser Aug 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Pearing, you have obviously drunk too much of the Koolade. How about considering the medically vulnerable who cannot take the MMR vaccine ?? The only way to protect them from the diseases that could kill them is through herd immunity. Immunization laws exist for a reason. They protect the health of the community. Had these parents vaccinated their child properly before international travel, they wouldn't be dealing with this now.

  • Pearing Whitesowa Aug 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Seriously people??? After the CDC Whistle blower came out confessing to all the lies and coverups concerning the MMR vaccine? You have no right to judge whether or why anyone chooses to vaccinate or not to vaccinate their child!!! Just google "vaccine injured children". Educate before you vaccinate!!!! There are many thousands that wish they had done just than! I had the measles, mumps and chicken pox as a child and am VERY healthy today. So many Americans are brainwashed by the corrupt government officials and BIG PHARMA today that they can't look at the facts and form their own opinion. It could be because they have been over vaccinated and it has affected them the way it has so many vaccine injured children! Do you own research and quit sounding off like the CDC and Big Pharma!