Student who sued health department over chickenpox vaccination now has the disease

Report Unvaccinated KY teen who sued health department gets chickenpox

Kunkel, a senior who plays on the school's basketball team, sued the health department in the Boone County Circuit Court, because they wouldn't let him play basketball, CBS affiliate WKYT reports.

Jerome Kunkel, 18, got sick with chickenpox last week, almost two months after the Northern Kentucky health department issued its order to control an outbreak at two small parochial schools in Boone County. "He's a little itchy".

"The Northern Kentucky Health Department has and will continue to follow the established medical guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other nationally acclaimed experts in infectious disease control in responding to the chickenpox outbreak among Assumption Academy students".

The Kunkel family has previously said the chickenpox vaccination is against the family's religious beliefs because cells from aborted foetuses were used to develop the immunisation.

A USA teenager who made headlines when he sued his school after refusing a chickenpox immunisation has now contracted the virus, his lawyer says.

A Kentucky judge rejected Mr Kunkel's request to prevent the health department from enforcing its school and activities ban in April. A ruling has not been announced in the case.

"About half my clients have come down with it since we filed the case".

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.

Mr Kunkel could return to school as early as next week once his chickenpox clears.

"I don't believe in that vaccine at all and they are trying to push it on us", Kunkle's father, Bill, told WLWT.

Kunkel plans to seek a jury trial and ask for monetary damages, Wiest said.

Ms Brinson went on to say allowing the virus to spread uncontained could have serious impacts for members of the population with weakened immune systems.

"Encouraging the spread of an acute infectious disease in a community demonstrates a callous disregard for the health and safety of friends, family, neighbors, and unsuspecting members of the general public", the department said in a statement Wednesday.

Chickenpox is a highly contagious virus that causes blisters, itching and fever, though it is generally not fatal.

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

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