A North Carolina school where a high concentration of families claim religious exemption from vaccines is facing the state’s worst chickenpox outbreak in more than 20 years.
The chickenpox outbreak has affected 36 students at Asheville Waldorf School, health officials with Buncombe County said. The outbreak ranks as North Carolina’s largest since a chickenpox vaccine became available more than 20 years ago, the Asheville Citizen Times reports.
The Asheville Waldorf School has one of the highest rates in the state of families who opt out of vaccines based on religious beliefs, according to data from North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human services. Of the 28 children enrolled in kindergarten at the school during the 2017-2018 school year, about 19 claimed religious exemption from vaccines — a higher rate of exemptions than all but two other schools in the state, according to the Citizen Times.