Health Care

Unvaccinated KY teen who sued health department gets chickenpox

Unvaccinated KY teen who sued health department gets chickenpox”

"Among other fundamental and deeply held religious beliefs of Mr. Kunkel, and the beliefs of his family, is that the use of any vaccine that is derived from aborted fetal cells is immoral, illegal and sinful", the suit read. Kunkel went back to school on Wednesday.

The teenager has been out of school since mid-March, Mr Wiest said.

Kunkel and two dozen other students who were banned appealed the ban and lost.

Kunkel filed the lawsuit over the health department's decision, especially because it affected his basketball season. "I mean you go through four years of high school playing basketball, but you look forward to your senior year", he told CNN affiliate WLWT in March.

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

Doug Hogan, a spokesperson for Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said banned students would be allowed to return to school when they can demonstrate that all their lesions have scabbed and solidified, according to NBC News.

Kentucky requires that children entering kindergarten be vaccinated for chickenpox, but parents may seek religious exemptions or provide proof that a child already had the disease.

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease that causes a blister-like rash, itching, fever and tiredness.

Kunkel's attorney said preventing the students from going to school fell short of containing the illness.

"The ban was stupid", Wiest said. Wiest's comments are dismissive of the severity of this virus, and his recent announcement that he is advising his clients to actively contract the virus so that they can become individually immune to it is deeply concerning to the Northern Kentucky Health Department. A person who has contracted chickenpox can be infectious for up to 2 days before experiencing the rash that is associated with the virus. "The Court's ruling, which follows on the heels of the Northern Kentucky Health Department receiving national recognition through re-accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board, underscores the critical need for Public Health Departments to preserve the safety of the entire community, and in particular the safety of those members of our community who are most susceptible to the dire consequences when a serious, infectious disease such as varicella, is left unabated and uncontrolled".

The health department also anxious that the comments may be downplaying the severity of the dangers of the chickenpox virus, which is known as varicella.

This week, his lawyer Christopher Wiest confirmed the teen had since developed chickenpox but said he did not regret refusing the vaccination.



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