© 2024 WUKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The measles are making a comeback in Kentucky

Associated Press

After years of falling off the radar, the virus is back and spreading and health officials are advising you to get vaccinated if you haven’t already.

Many doctors and nurses have never seen a case of measles in the U.S. Dr. Steven Stack, Commissioner for Public Health in Kentucky says that’s because in 2000, the CDC felt there was no longer any evidence of ongoing transmission because vaccinations had effectively eliminated the disease in the country.

“So, for the last two and a half decades roughly, none of us have had to worry about measles and the only way to really get it was to travel to another country where measles was still spreading.”

But Dr. Stack says more people are opting out of vaccinations and as those numbers have fallen, cases of the measles are popping up across the United States. He is encouraging you to make sure you’ve gotten the vaccination, especially if you are immune compromised, elderly or very young.

“So, folks our vaccination rate is only about 90% for kindergarteners for measles, mumps, rubella; and it has to be 95% or higher to stop transmission. And this is not an imaginary thing, there’s at least15 states who have already reported cases this year.”

If you have already had measles, you have a natural immunity and if you’ve been vaccinated in your lifetime Dr. Stack says you do not need to get the shot again.

Karyn Czar joined the WUKY News team July 1, 2013, but she's no stranger to radio.