An outbreak of chickenpox is spreading in Asheville, according to a Health Department report from Buncombe County. According to the report, 37 students and four other people are sick.
The school with the cases is the Asheville Waldorf School, where administrators did not comment on the cases.
Doctors at Asheville Children's Medical Center said they have recently seen parents bring in children for the chickenpox vaccine.
The pediatrician dr. Brigette Fogleman urges parents to give their children the vaccine.
"It is a concern for a public health threat," said Fogleman, who has said that parents also reject vaccines for their children.
She thinks that's a mistake.
"The bacterial infections that can occur can actually lead to loss of limbs," Fogleman said.
The Pediatrician Sam Cohn said he knows Asheville and the freedom of individual choice that the community is celebrating, including the challenge of medical professionals who demand vaccinations. He and Fogleman said in Asheville the spread of chickenpox was threatened because the entire population, and mostly children, is not high enough to be sick.
"It tells me as a community that we do not necessarily listen to the best information," Cohn said. "We want them to think about it, both for their individual child and for life as part of the community."
Fogleman said that was what she had heard in the last case.
"The mother actually said to me," If I had known that this was such a terrible disease and persisted so long, I would have got the vaccine, "Fogleman said.