Vaccine-Exempt Kids Behind Chickenpox Outbreak

North Carolina's largest chickenpox outbreak in decades is centered in a primary school with a large number of vaccine-exempt students, according to health officials.

Thirty-six students at Asheville Waldorf School were diagnosed with the disease last Friday, BBC News reported.

The school has one of the state's highest rates of religious-based vaccine exemptions for students.

Of the school's 152 students, 110 have not received the vaccine against the virus that causes chickenpox, according to BBC News.

In 2017/18, nearly 68 percent of the school's kindergarten students had religious immunization exemptions on file.

"This is the biggest chickenpox outbreak state health officials are aware of since the vaccine became available," a state health department spokesman told BBC News.

The school is co-operating with local health officials and is compliant with all state laws, a school spokesperson said.

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