The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday it was issuing a health alert advisory to notify clinics and public health officials to be watchful after a case of measles was confirmed at the Asbury University revival event that took place in Kentucky for over two weeks in February.
On Feb. 24, the Kentucky Department for Public Health identified a confirmed case of measles in an unvaccinated individual with a history of recent international travel, the CDC said.
While infected, the individual attended the outpouring between Feb. 17–18, and an estimated 20,000 people from other states and countries were possibly exposed, the national agency said.
“Community transmission of measles in connection with this event is possible, particularly among unvaccinated or under-vaccinated individuals,” CDC spokesperson Scott Pauley said in a statement.
Measles is one of the most contagious human viruses and is almost entirely preventable through vaccination. However, it requires 95% vaccine coverage to prevent outbreaks among populations.
The CDC said doctors should consider measles as a diagnosis with anyone with clinically compatible symptoms. The agency also asked physicians to recommend measles, mumps, and rubella shots for patients who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.
The advisory also recommends healthcare professionals immediately notify local or state health departments about any suspected case of measles to ensure rapid testing following the CDC’s testing recommendations.
In November, the CDC and the World Health Organization said that there is now an imminent threat of measles spreading in various regions globally, as COVID-19 led to a steady decline in vaccination coverage and weakened surveillance of the disease.
Copyright 2023 Thomson/Reuters. Additions and edits by Michael Cardinal.