Tuesday, 21 May, 2019


Teen Who Sued Over Ban of Unvaccinated Students Gets Chickenpox

Report Unvaccinated KY teen who sued health department gets chickenpox Kentucky teen at center of vaccination lawsuit comes down with chickenpox, report says
Patty Aguilar | 11 May, 2019, 14:13

The Northern Kentucky Health Department excluded unvaccinated students from classes and extracurricular activities from March 14.

Most children recover from chickenpox after a few days, but the disease can lead to serious complications.

While contracting the virus once is one way of securing immunity from subsequent chickenpox infections (for the vast majority of people at least), these days the medical community advises that getting vaccinated against chickenpox is far safer than the outdated practice of voluntarily exposing young people to the disease.

The family announced in March plans to sue the Kentucky Health Department over the ban.

A USA teenager who took legal action against his school after he was banned for refusing the chickenpox vaccination now has the virus, his lawyer says.

Christopher Wiest, the family's attorney, said that the family deeply holds its religious beliefs.

Immediately following the announcement, 18-year-old Jerome Kunkel and his family filed a lawsuit against the health department.

The Catholic Church has told its members it is morally justifiable to use these vaccines, though it wants alternative treatments developed without "using cell lines of illicit origin".

Kunkel and his family claim they have no regrets over their decision not to get vaccinated.

"From their perspective, they always recognized they were running the risk of getting it, and they were OK with it".

Wiest, a former mayor of Fort Mitchell, said that Kunkel was doing fine, though he was "a little itchy".

CBS News has reached out to Wiest and is awaiting response. "He could have contracted this in March and been back to school by now".

However, it seems nature has come back to bite Kunkel as he has come down with a case of chickenpox.

"Recent news articles reporting statements by Chris Wiest, the plaintiffs' attorney, downplaying the dangers of the chickenpox virus are alarming and disappointing", Ms Brinson said. "Control measures, such as restricted school attendance, participation in extracurricular activities, and instructing those who have symptoms to avoid contact with others, are created to prevent unvaccinated people who have been exposed to the virus from infecting members of the general public while they are infectious".

The health department would not confirm Wednesday that it had released the ban on Kunkel, but it did release a statement criticizing Wiest and defending the ban.

"These are deeply held religious beliefs, they're sincerely held beliefs". Two dozen other students who were banned during the chickenpox outbreak joined Kunkel's lawsuit.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department expressed concern over Mr Wiest's comments about students contracting the virus so they may become immune.

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