Measles In Manitoba: Anti-Vaccine Mom Feels Bullied

A Manitoba mother feels she's being bullied because she won't vaccinate her son against measles.

Aidan Walsh, a Grade 5 student at Shevchenko School in Vita, Man., has to study from home for up to three weeks because an older student may have been infected with the illness, and health officials have instructed parents to keep unvaccinated children away to stop the spread of infection, CBC News reports.

Walsh's mother, massage therapist Kim Paul, won't have her son immunized because the vaccine isn't mandatory in Canada. She feels that he's safe at home with homeopathic remedies.

But that also means she has to take him to work and help him with his studies.

"To me it almost seems like a bullying situation, you know, get the needle, get the needle, if you don't get the needle you can't go," Paul told the network.

Provincial health officials circulated a letter on March 25 saying that parents would be asked to keep unvaccinated kids away from school to prevent infection and "ensure his/her safety as well as the safety of his/her peers."

Students have to stay home if they show symptoms of measles such as a fever of 38.3 degrees Celsius or higher; a cough, runny nose or red eyes; or a red rash three to seven days after the fever begins.

The province enacted the policy after four cases of measles were reported across Manitoba in March, CKDM radio said.

Two of those cases were noted in Winnipeg, one in Selkirk and another in Winkler, said Manitoba Health.

Communities across Canada are dealing with measles this year.

There have been 375 cases reported in British Columbia's Fraser Valley, five in Calgary, one in Edmonton, 11 in Regina and 11 in Ontario.

Paul is hardly the first parent who has refused to vaccinate her children.

More than 100 students at Western Canada High School in Calgary have been asked to stay home until April 21 because they haven't been vaccinated against measles.

TV host Jenny McCarthy has taken enormous criticism because she has said that vaccines can lead to autism.

The host of "The View" was slammed on Twitter when she hosted an "#JennyAsks" segment last month, asking users, "Most important trait you look for in mate?"

One person responded, "Someone who vaccinates, because I'd want our kids to survive."

The National Autism Association (NAA) supports McCarthy's cause, saying on its website that vaccinations can "trigger or exacerbate" autism in some children.

They say this despite the fact that no connection being found between vaccines and autism, The New Yorker reported.

Meanwhile, "The Hills" star Kristin Cavallari also fears that vaccines can cause autism, adding that they can also lead to "asthma, allergies, ear infections, all kinds of things. We feel like we are making the best decision for our kids."

Earlier this month, Ontario mother Meghan Mcnutt-Anderson posted a photo of her baby suffering from whooping cough to Facebook as a warning to parents who don't vaccinate their children.

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Measles In Canada