Do I need to get tested for measles?

Measles Outbreak
Posted at 11:40 PM, Feb 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-26 12:48:56-05

WINCHESTER, Ky. (LEX 18) — This week health officials confirmed a case of the measles has been linked to the Asbury revival service in Wilmore. It's important to get tested for the virus as soon as you think you are infected.

As of Saturday, it's the only case reported in Jessamine County, but that doesn't mean other service attendees are in the clear.

Doctor Elizabeth Hawse with Commonwealth Pediatrics said measles can stay in a room for up to two hours once it goes airborne.

If you think you've been exposed, she said your first move should be determining your vaccine status.

"If you can find pretty quickly that you have had both shots with the dates, you're good," Hawse explained.

If you aren't sure if you've had both rounds of the measles vaccine, and you can't figure it out quickly, getting another shot is the way to go.

"If you ended up getting a third shot that you didn't need and you know in retrospect you find the dates, or your parents find the dates, there is no increased risk of side effects to you," she said.

Most people receive both shots of the measles vaccine in early childhood.

But if you're an unvaccinated adult and you've been exposed, Hawse said there is a 90% chance you will be infected.

If you have an infant over the age of six months that hasn't received a measles vaccine yet, doctors can administer an emergency vaccine if they've been exposed.

"First of all, you need to stay at home and quarantine for 21 days from the date of the 18th of February."

This is the third measles case confirmed in Kentucky in the last three months.

The tricky part about this highly contagious disease is determining if your symptoms are just a cold or something more serious.

In response to what symptoms people should look out for, Hawse said, "Cough, pink eye type symptoms. Those type symptoms occur before the rash begins and you're contagious before the rash begins."

Who should get tested?

If you:

-Attended Asbury Revival on February 18th

-You are unvaccinated or unsure of your status

-You start to get cold symptoms including cough, runny nose, pink eye-like symptoms, or rash that starts on the head

-Make sure to call your local emergency room or physician ahead of time so they can prepare for your arrival.