FT. STEWART, Ga. (WTOC) -Measles has dominated local and national headlines for the past few weeks. The outbreak is reaching levels not seen in 25 years. The Center for Disease Control is reporting 940 confirmed cases in the U.S. for 2019 alone.
Fort Stewart says that have yet to see any cases of the virus, which isn’t surprising-only six cases of the measles have been reported in Georgia.
“What we do here is we make sure we vet and see our patients that are required to have their vaccines," said Valarie Camak-Isaac, the Deputy Chief of the Department of Preventative Medicine at Fort Stewart. "That the soldiers that are coming in or off the installation. We make sure that their records are screened and ensure that everybody has the required vaccines.”
The deputy chief says that while all soldiers coming and going are screened, the families of soldiers are not required to stay vaccinated, despite strong recommendations.
Rebecca Terry, whose husband is in the military, says she knows the risk of not vaccinating, but she still chooses not to because of past experiences.
“We don’t vaccinate because my daughter had a significant reaction and it also caused digestive problems,” said Terry.
She says she received some backlash for her views on measles and vaccinations, but she feels like she is doing what is best for her daughter.
Terry says she knows her husband travels overseas a lot, but she also knows the military protects the soldiers at all costs.
“It doesn’t necessarily bother us because just because I don’t vaccinate," said Terry. "That doesn’t mean that I don’t like people or judge people who do because we’re moms, we are doing the best that we can. There’s not a right and a wrong.”
“We like to consider our active duty soldiers at minimal or no risk at all," said Camuk-Isaac. "Once they come into the installation, we make sure they are screening records and we make sure they have all the vaccines that are required and then also once they are getting ready to go off to other places, we make sure they are screened and the necessary vaccines are given at that time.”