Mother of Alabama measles patient attacked online for vaccination comments

The mother of the 5-month girl confirmed as Alabama’s first case of the measles is being attacked online for her comments related to vaccinations.

Audrey Peine of Pell City wrote in a now-private Facebook post that she did “everything” to protect her daughter Emma before her diagnosis.

“I breastfed her for her entire life. I kept her up to date on her vaccinations. I took her to the doctor when she was sick. And she tested positive for something she was too young to be vaccinated for,” Peine wrote.

“She got sick because of the negligence of other parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. She got sick because the measles is on the rise due to carelessness of other mothers. Read the statistics. This disease was not something to worry about a few years ago. Now my daughter has it. Like the other mother who’s five-month-old was diagnosed in California, I feel like my community failed us,” Peine wrote.

“Even if we only get one more family to vaccinate their children, we’ll be making a difference. Please learn from this. Please let this make you consider doing what’s best for your baby.”

Peine’s post unleashed a wave of critical comments including people questioning the accounts of her daughter’s illness and linking vaccinations with autism. Peine later wrote she changed her post to “private” due to comments she received when it was being shared.

First case of measles in Alabama

In an interview with WVTM, Peine said she took her daughter to the doctor Monday where the baby, who is too young to be vaccinated, was tested for the measles. The test later confirmed the baby had the virus.

Officials with the Alabama Department of Public Health announced Thursday the St. Clair County case was the state’s first confirmed case of the measles. ADPH said the infant was considered contagious from April 23 through May 1. She was not in day care and did not travel out of state during that time.

ADPH currently has 32 open measles investigations. Symptoms of the measles include high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes followed by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the body.

Complications can range from ear infections and pneumonia to deadly encephalitis. For every 1,000 people with measles, one to two people will die.