Wyoming Health Officials Are Watching for the First Case of Measles

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Casper- (KCWY) "It's coming back, it's there this is the greatest number of cases in the first four months of any year, in forever,” said Dr. Mark Dowell a health official and Wyoming Medical Center infectious disease doctor.

With 129 cases of measles being documented across the United States in 13 states health officials across Wyoming are watching for the state's first case.

"It's extremely important for our employees to be vaccinated we need to protect our patients. We have a lot of immune-compromised patients and it's extremely important that we don't expose them to anything,” said Alice Lynch a infection control nurse at Wyoming Medical Center.

Not just the hospital is at risk. School children especially who are not vaccinated pose a high risk to themselves and fellow classmates for spreading viruses such as the measles.

"In Wyoming an idea that I very much disagree with is the idea that for religious exemption you can decide to not immunize your children,” said Dowell.

As a county health officer in the past Dowell blocked this exemption before the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled it could not be blocked. Dowell saying he was doing what was right for Wyoming’s children.

"All you need to do is have one case that's very contagious and a serious of people who have not been vaccinated and you can get quite a series,” said Dowell.

CDC information points out in the last 20 years vaccines have saved 730,000 children from death. Within the United States half of our young population is eligible for free vaccines although a new wave of thinking has parents opting out of having their children get them.

"Vehemently disagree with it your job is to protect your children. There is no way you can argue with the science behind the tens of millions of kids who are saved because of vaccines,” said Dowell.