An Alberta parent says she is relieved for a return to normalcy after her three sons spent about two weeks in quarantine after potentially being exposed to measles at the Edmonton International Airport.
“It was horrible,” Jessica Rempel told Global News on Wednesday, as she described her sons’ ordeal. “You’re always looking at them — looking for a new rash, looking for a fever, looking to see if they have any coughs or sneezes.”
The concern was heightened because Jessica’s children — five-year-old Wyatt, three-year-old Grayson and two-year-old Elliot — all have prine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) deficiency, a disorder that damages the immune system and causes severe combined immunodeficiency.
The boys were all vaccinated as infants, before they were diagnosed with PNP. However, they’ve since had bone marrow transplants and have to be re-vaccinated post-transplant. But because the measles vaccine is a live vaccine, they’re required to wait.
The family’s troubles began last month when they returned home to Millet, Alta., from a trip, made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Give Kids the World Village, to the Walt Disney World resort in Florida.
READ MORE: 3 Alberta kids in isolation after potentially being exposed to measles at airport
Watch below: (From February 2019) A family with three young boys has been in isolation after they may have been exposed to measles. The boys have a rare immune disorder, which is why their mother is urging everyone to vaccinate. Kendra Slugoski reports.
On Feb. 24, Alberta Health Services issued a public alert that someone with lab-confirmed measles had been at the Edmonton International Airport and a number of locations in Leduc.
The exposure period overlapped with the Rempels’ time at the airport. The family also visited the locations highlighted by AHS in Leduc.
“With their immune deficiency, even the lowest risk of exposure is a big deal for us,” Jessica said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the boys’ quarantine was officially lifted.
“It’s been so wonderful to be out of isolation again after that freedom was so unceremoniously taken away from you, through no fault of your own,” Jessica said. “To have that freedom for the boys to be able to go to school again, or to be able to go to the grocery store without any forethought, it takes such a weight off your shoulders.”
Jessica said her family’s measles scare highlights the importance of parents getting their children vaccinated.
–With files from Global News’ Sarah Kraus and Emily Mertz
READ MORE: Alberta parents concerned about delays in immunizations amidst measles scare
Watch below: (From March 13, 2019) New parents are often told that they need to be on top of their child’s vaccinations and now it’s even more important given a recent measles scare. But for one Calgary mother, getting kids immunized on schedule hasn’t been easy. Jenna Freeman reports.