An Australian mom posted absolutely heartbreaking and horrifying photos of her son on June 8, imploring parents to vaccinate their children.
Kayley Burke's infant son Elijah came down with chickenpox about a week ago, she wrote on Facebook. Chickenpox is horrible for kids of all ages, but this is one story you'll probably never forget.
The Brisbane, Australia, mom's 11-month-old came down with one of the most terrible cases of chickenpox we've ever seen.
Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that chickenpox is extremely contagious. It can take anywhere from 10 to 21 days after being exposed to the virus before someone actually develops the ailment. People with the virus are contagious beginning one to two days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs.
But the common itchy, fluid-filled blisters are not the only thing you need to worry about with chickenpox. Although it's usually just uncomfortable for most people, secondary skin infections and other serious complications are possible.
Unfortunately, the Burkes seem to have hit the chickenpox jackpot and we bet they're wishing they won something else instead.
To add insult to injury, Kayley and her toddler daughter also caught the chickenpox. How absolutely miserable!
"Bottom line, if you don't vaccinate your kids [you're] a bloody idiot," Burke wrote on Facebook. "Think about the risk you are putting on other helpless kids that are too young or who actually can't be vaccinated!"
Thankfully, Elijah was discharged from the hospital on Thursday with only a few more days left of taking antibiotics for the secondary infection.
The varicella vaccine (more commonly known as the chickenpox vaccine) has been available in the U.S. since 1995. According to the CDC, two doses of the vaccine is 98 percent effective in preventing chickenpox. The CDC recommends children receive their first dose of the vaccine at 12 to 15 months old, and the second from 4 to 6 years old. Children 13 and older (and adults) who have never had chickenpox or the vaccine should receive two doses of the vaccine at least 28 days apart.
Let this be a lesson to anyone who doesn't believe herd immunity protects those who are too young or can't get vaccinated for whatever reason. We're wishing the Burkes a speedy recovery!