News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

NOCHE

Hospice of the Western Reserve


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Health and Medicine


Amish break with tradition to guard against measles outbreak
As measles epidemic spreads, Amish are relying more on vaccinations 
Story by SAM HENDREN


 
Ohio's rural Amish normally shun vaccinations, but a recent measles outbreak is driving them to clinics across Central Ohio.
Courtesy of Pat Williams, Flickr, CC
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

In a handful of Ohio counties, public health officials are traveling back roads and setting up clinics in churches and town halls. They’re trying to contain a measles outbreak among the mostly unvaccinated Amish community.

From Ohio public radio station WOSU, Sam Hendren reports from the Knox county village of Danville.

LISTEN: amish measles

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:49)


The Knox County village of Danville calls itself the gateway to Amish country. It’s here that the county health department has set up a makeshift clinic. It’s attracting dozens of families who come in to be vaccinated against measles.

There’s two more of our girls coming, Ida and Kayda.

Traditionally, the Amish avoid vaccinations. But now they see the toll that measles is taking on their tight-knit communities. Knox County Health spokeswoman Pam Palm says fear of measles brings more than a hundred people to the Danville clinic on a recent Thursday afternoon.

A lot of them don’t get immunized because of their holistic way of living but they’re seeing the numbers of people who are getting sick and they are seeing how sick they are getting so they are coming in to get immunized.

Distributing Vaccine

The mobile clinics are critical to widespread vaccinations. Nurse Jacqueline Fletcher says the clinics make for shorter and safer travel on narrow county roads.

Due to the outbreak and the fact that the Amish normally travel by buggy it’s far easier for us to bring the vaccine out to them than to have them travel to us.

Fletcher says health workers also go door-to-door looking for measles cases, sometimes finding whole families who have fallen ill.

As soon as we saw these folks, they were just covered in a measles rash, they were sitting in a darkened room because it affects your eyes…your eyes feel very gritty and red and bothered by the light so they tend to sit in the dark. They have high temperatures 102, 103, we have seen them as high as 104.5, aches, pains.

Serious Outbreak

The outbreak began in late March after several Amish men returned from a trip overseas. They had gone to the Philippines - unvaccinated - to do disaster relief work. Once back in Ohio, the first cases arose. State epidemiologist Mary DiOrio says the Ohio Department of Health is supplying vaccine to affected counties in hopes of controlling the spread of the highly contagious disease.

We’re working with them to make sure they get the vaccine they need to run these clinics. So it’s a lot of work that the local health departments have to do and we’re providing support to them as we can.

More than 8-thousand people have been vaccinated at the clinics, a sign that attitudes among the Amish are changing. Aden Weaver is an Amish father of 12 who believes taking the vaccine is worthwhile.

"Well I just think that it helps everybody to stay away from getting sick. That’s the way I feel about it," Weaver says. "I think it would be beneficial if everybody would do it, really."

Clearly the fight against the disease is not over. But Jacqueline Fletcher believes health workers have made significant progress.

We’re trying to contain this outbreak. The idea is to get ahead of this disease get it confined and keep it confined and so far we have kept it confined to the Amish community.

Knox County has the most confirmed cases of measles...more than half of all the cases in Ohio. Four surrounding counties also report large outbreaks. Health officials are uncertain whether they have contained the outbreak.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook



Stories with Recent Comments

Canton's Basilica of St. John absorbs news of the pope at morning Mass
Hello Chris,Marina,and Patrice, I just read this article and you all look great. I'm on facebook Jean Dutcher in blue and white stripped blouse. I"M so glad to ...

Exploradio: Avoiding the 'acting-white' trap
Growing-up black and being black should not determine that you will not speak well or will not be a high achiever in your goals in life.But society te nds to la...

Charter-school supporters to rally at Statehouse
I am on the bus now headed to the rally. Horizon is an excellent school. My son is is 7 th grade. The teachers and administrators are top notch and spend so m...

Former Nursing Home Land Added to Parks
In addition, LED technology also plays a very important role in advertising- LED placard is very, very useful for shop owners.

Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments on school funding
That's not true. Other school districts HAVE followed this law and done this. Oakhills is one of them and how they were able to provide technology for their s...

Death and beauty at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art
What a disgusting story to air at lunch time.

Ohio Supreme Court grills attorneys on flooding and million-dollar fixes
Perhaps the State of Ohio should take the lead and implement state wide water shed districts that would collect minimum fees. The funds could then be distribute...

More Ohio schools are adding STEM + arts to come up with STEAM
STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Not Education! Your first sentence and intro to this article is incorrect. Please correct this inaccuracy....

Body found in Brecksville park identified as Hillary Sharma
When will we learn the cause of death? We live here and if there's foul play, we have a right to know.

FitzGerald isn't giving up, but many Stark voters are worried, wary and weary
SB5 stands for "Snow Ball 5" because voters have about a snow ball's chance of remembering what it was.

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University