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Measles Outbreak In Ohio Leads Amish To Reconsider Vaccines

6/24/2014

NPR Radio
By Sarah Jane Tribble
June 24, 2014

The Amish countryside in central Ohio looks as it has for a hundred years. There are picturesque pastures with cows and sheep, and big red barns dot the landscape.

But something changed here, when, on an April afternoon, an Amish woman walked to a communal call box. She picked up the phone to call the Knox County Health Department. She told a county worker she and a family next door had the measles.

That call spurred nurse Jacqueline Fletcher into action.

"The very next morning we were out to collect samples, collect nasal swabs and also draw blood. And it was just textbook measles," says Fletcher.

A nurse in Knox County for nearly three decades, Fletcher had never seen the illness, but she knew the symptoms.

"The rash. They had the conjunctivitis in the eyes, their eyes were red," she says. "They don't want the light, they sit in the darkened room, wear dark glasses. I mean they were just miserable. High temperatures, 103, 104 temps. So this was the measles."

The largest outbreak of measles in recent U.S. history is underway.

Click here to read the full story.

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