'Unvaccinated individuals here in our community:' CHW opens clinics in wake of measles outbreak

MILWAUKEE -- With measles declared a public health emergency amid a surge in cases across the country, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin officials opted to open vaccination clinics. Measles has turned up in nearby states like Michigan and Iowa in 2019. Doctors believe it's only a matter of time before a case is confirmed in Wisconsin.

Renate Flanders

"Horrible. It was just spots everywhere," said Renate Flanders.

Flanders fought the disease as a young girl in England. She spoke with FOX6 News Thursday, May 9 about the severity.

"Just all over. It was red and they itched," said Flanders.

She said her three children were vaccinated against measles.

"I don't want my kids to go through what I went through," Flanders said.

Renate Flanders' son

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Children's Hospital officials stressed the importance of measles vaccinations -- with appointments available for measles vaccinations at 23 primary care locations.

"Measles is one of the most contagious germs that we know of," said Dr. Lyn Ranta, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

Ranta said she believes it's only a matter of time before a case turns up in Wisconsin.

"It will come," Dr. Ranta said. "We still have a substantial amount of unvaccinated individuals here in our community."

Dr. Lyn Ranta

It's believed thousands of Milwaukee-area youth have not received the measles vaccine.

"We have 20 years of really good evidence that this is a really safe vaccine," Dr. Ranta said.

Flanders said she has peace of mind knowing her children have been protected from the disease once eliminated in the U.S. nearly two decades ago.

"I would rather my children are vaccinated and are OK and inquisitive and not have any issues," said Flanders.

Doctors said any unvaccinated person is putting others at risk. Children's Hospital officials sent letters to patients who may be in need of one or both required doses of the measles vaccine.