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WV Health Officials Mark 20th Anniversary National Infant Immunization Week

Reported: Apr. 28, 2014 9:07 AM EDT
Updated: Apr. 28, 2014 12:55 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Fallon Pierson) -- Officials from The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health were at Sacred Heart Learning Center on Monday to promote National Infant Immunization Week.

Officials warned about the risks of not having children immunized, particularly with the biggest measles outbreak since 1996 hitting the country. Measles has infected almost 130 people in 13 states this year. Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that usually affects young kids. It causes a very distinctive rash all over the body, along with other fever-like symptoms.

Experts said more parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children because they believe there is a link between vaccines and autism. Bit officials at Monday's event advised that not vaccinating your children is a mistake.

Bureau of Public Health Commissioner Letitia Tierney said studies have shown "over and over again that there is no link between autism and MMR. Vaccines save lives, and it's important that people understand. Please, please speak with your pediatrician, who can explain what's going on. They can explain the good and bad studies and why it's important for kids to get the MMR (vaccine)."

There have been no measles deaths reported from the outbreak in the United States so far, but there has been one death from whooping cough in West Virginia in December 2013.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- State health officials are marking the 20th anniversary of National Infant Immunization Week with an event in Charleston.

Bureau of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Tierney is scheduled to visit Sacred Heart Day Care Center on Monday to talk about the importance of infant immunizations in the state. She will be joined by a physician from the West Virginia University School of Medicine and Jenny Murray with V-100 radio, whose daughter contracted whooping cough.

The national week is designed to raise awareness of infant immunizations.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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