According to officials, the North Carolina school with a large community against vaccination is at the center of the country's largest varicella outbreak.
On Friday, 36 students at the school of Asheville Waldorf were diagnosed with this disease, reports Ascientville Citizen-Times.
The school has one of the highest rates of state religious liberation, allowing students to skip vaccinations.
US health officials said vaccination was much safer than chickenpox infection.
“These are the biggest health officials associated with the varicella epidemic since the vaccine became available,” said a spokesman for the North Carolina health ministry at BBC in an e-mail statement.
Of the 152 students in the Waldorf School, 110 did not receive the vaccine against the varicella-zoster virus, which is known to be the most common for chickenpox, according to Citizen-Times.
According to the state, 67.9% of kindergarten students in schools provided religious immunization benefits in the 2017-2018 school year.
The primary school fully cooperated with local health officials and complied with all North Carolina laws, a school spokesman at BBC said.
“We find that our parents are very motivated to choose exactly what they want for their children. We, as a school, do not discriminate on the basis of a medical history or a child’s health. ”
Buncombe County, home to the city of Asheville with a population of over 250,000, has the highest level of religious immunization benefits in the state.
According to the county’s health ministry, local health officials are closely monitoring the situation.
“We want to be clear: vaccination is the best protection against chickenpox,” said county medical director Jennifer Mullendor in a statement.
“When we see a large number of children and adults without immunity, we know that a disease such as chickenpox easily spreads throughout the community — to our playgrounds, grocery stores, and sports teams.”
North Carolina law requires certain immunizations, including chickenpox, measles and mumps for kindergartens, but the state allows medical and religious exemptions.
Most religions do not prohibit vaccination, but in recent years, some US parents have been afraid of adverse reactions to vaccines.
While some bad reactions, such as allergies, to vaccines are possible, the medical community dispels the vast majority of these fears, and groups, including the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics, encourage vaccination.
What is chicken pox?
Chickenpox is a viral infection that causes blistering, rashes, itching and fever. In severe cases, it can lead to complications such as inflammation of the brain, pneumonia and death.
The virus spreads through contact, coughing and sneezing, although it is not as infectious as measles, which can spread without any contact.