Measles case confirmed in Kentucky county

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A case of measles has been reported in a young child in Barren County.

The Barren River District Health Department says the child, who was not vaccinated, recently traveled out of the country to an area where measles is prevalent.

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The Kentucky Department for Public Health says the case is not linked to an ongoing measles outbreak in the state of Washington or other cases of measles in the U.S.

Health officials say the child did not become infectious until returning to Kentucky.

They say public exposure is believed to be very limited and they are in the process of notifying people who came into contact with the child during the infectious period.

Measles is a serious, highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the rubeola virus. It is the most deadly of all childhood rash/fever illnesses, but is preventable with vaccine.

Measles cases are rare in the United State because vaccination is routinely given to children at 12-15 months of age and again at 4-6 years of age.

Most of the reported U.S. cases have occurred in people exposed to measles abroad or in unvaccinated or under-vaccinated people, such as the case with the ongoing outbreak in the state of Washington, according to health officials.