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One case of measles confirmed in Kentucky

A child with a distinctive measles rash.
A child with a distinctive measles rash.

At least one case of measles connected to the outbreak in central Ohio has been confirmed in Kentucky, according to state health officials.

“One outbreak-associated measles case has occurred in Kentucky and several other Kentucky residents have had known exposures to measles in Ohio,” department spokesperson Brice Mitchell wrote in email to LPM News.

Mitchell did not say where the case was or when the exposures occurred, and he did not respond to follow up questions from LPM.

The outbreak in Columbus has infected 85 children there since October. Thirty-four children have been hospitalized. None of the infected children had both recommended doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Jefferson County Public Schools began offering MMR vaccines to students in school Tuesday, after they said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alerted some health officials in Kentucky about possible exposures in their communities.

State law requires children get all their measles vaccines before entering kindergarten. However, thousands of Kentucky children remain unvaccinated because of challenges accessing healthcare.

A recent LPM Investigation revealed half of kindergarten classes in Jefferson County had vaccination rates that put them at increased risk for spread of measles and polio — mostly in low-income, majority Black schools.

CDC data released last week revealed Kentucky’s kindergarten vaccination rate for MMR is among the lowest in the nation.