Unvaccinated Kentucky child contracts measles after traveling out of country

Unvaccinated Kentucky child contracts measles after traveling out of country
This is how measles appears on the skin of infected persons. (Source: KHOU)

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services says a Kentucky child has contracted measles after traveling out of the country.

WKYT reported the child lives in an area served by the Barren River District Health Department, which encompasses Bowling Green and communities in that region of the state.

Health officials say the child was not vaccinated, and traveled to an area where measles is regularly found. The child did not show signs of being infectious until returning back to the U.S., health officials said.

“Measles is a highly contagious illness so it is extremely important that close contacts are notified,” DPH Commissioner Dr. Jeff Howard said. “We are working diligently, along with our local health department and CDC colleagues, to make sure contacts are aware of this potential case, are getting any necessary medical care and aren’t spreading the illness to others. We cannot stress enough the importance of vaccination. Measles, among many other vaccine-preventable diseases, is an extremely dangerous illness, especially for small children.”

The case is not connected to an outbreak in Washington state or other cases of measles in the U.S.

Measles is considered the most deadly of all childhood rash and fever illnesses, but it can be prevented with vaccination.

The measles vaccine is given to children at 12-15 months and again at 4-6 years of age.

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