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Tough Mississippi Laws Protect State Against Measles
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16 Feb 2015 07:28 AM EST

Tough Mississippi Laws Protect State Against Measles

According to the CDC, the measles outbreak that started in Disneyland last month has yet to take hold in Mississippi. The highly contagious disease has now affected at least 130 people in 17 states and Washington, D.C.. Mississippi is the same place with the nation's highest infant mortality rate, and the second highest level of childhood poverty, but when it to vaccines for school children, the Magnolia state leads the nation. Last year, 99.7 percent of kindergartners in Mississippi were listed as "fully vaccinated" — compared to say 85 percent in Pennsylvania and 92 percent in California, the epicenter of the outbreak. Decades ago, the legislature passed a strict mandatory vaccination law for kids — without some of the loopholes found in other states. Here are no exemptions for religious or philosophical reasons. Only rare medical exemptions are allowed. Dr. Timothy Quinn, a family practitioner who has been working for 10 years and never seen a measles case, said "The bottom line is that if we don't vaccinate our children we stand the potential for a public health crisis."

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