One mom is taking to social media to urge parents to get their children vaccinated after her 11-month-old son, Elijah, was admitted to the hospital for a severe case of chickenpox. Elijah's mother, Kayley Burke, and sister Kaliah, 3, also have the virus. But because Kaliah had been immunized, her case is much less severe, according to Sunshine Coast Daily. 

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Chickenpox is extremely contagious. While it used to be a common childhood illness, vaccinations have significantly reduced the occurrences, according to KidsHealth. Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache and a red, itchy rash. The rash typically spreads over most of the body and can even spread into the mouth and throat. 


Elijah was admitted to the hospital on June 9, after he stopped taking his bottle. He spent the night in the hospital being treated for a secondary infection. 

Doctors told Sunshine Coast Daily that in the most extreme cases, infants can be at risk for brain and lung infections. Doctor John Gavranich, director of pediatrics at the Ipswich Hospital, encouraged parents to consider vaccinating their children against chickenpox. 

"The only way of reducing the risk is ensuring as many people as possible are vaccinated," he told Sunshine Coast Daily. 

Burke urged parents to vaccinate their children in her Facebook post, saying, "Bottom line, if you don't vaccinate your kids, [you're] a bloody idiot ... Think about the risk you are putting on other helpless kids that are too young or who actually can't be vaccinated." 

Did you have the chickenpox as a kid? Do you vaccinate? Share your thoughts in the comments below.