ROCHESTER, Minn. - This year, Minnesota's seen the highest number of cases of chickenpox since 2013.
Minnesota's Department of Health reports 390 cases of chickpox so far this year. The highest number of cases was in 2013 when 478 cases were reported.
The report also said most cases are seen in charter schools, which typically has a high percentage of unvaccinated children.
Dr. Robert Jacobson is a pediatrician at Mayo Clic and the Director of the Employee and Community Health Research Initiative.
He said states have different regulations when it comes to vaccinations. He said Minnesota has very generous exemption policies allowing many parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.
"States that have stronger rules against philosophical or conscientious objection have much lower rates of exemption and much lower rates of vaccine-preventable disease," Dr. Jacobson said.
Many parents object to vaccinating their children holding on to the idea that getting chickenpox is natural.
"There's nothing natural about spending the week at home away from school and your friends, putting others at risk to them could be life threatening, one that could often result in pnemonia or ear infections," he said.
People also opt out of chickenpox vaccination simply because they have the liberty to do so, and have the choice over what to put in their body.
But Dr. Jacobson argues the vaccination could actually lead to more liberty.
"This disease that will show up sometime during the year when you least expect it, and will prevent you from doing the things you want to do. So if you want to protect your personal liberty, you take steps to do the safe and right thing, which is vaccinate your children against chickenpox," he said.
Unlike flu season, there is no season in which chickenpox will rise. Dr. Jacobson said to best determine if a child has chickenpox, take a picture of the itchy blisters and send them to a doctor's office. Sometimes the diagnosis can be over the phone or email via pictures, which reduces exposure to others.