Measles case confirmed in person who attended Kentucky spiritual revival
(CNN) — Health officials are warning that people who attended the weekslong spiritual revival event at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, on Feb. 18 may have been exposed to measles.
On Friday, the Kentucky Department for Public Health announced a confirmed case of measles in a Jessamine County resident, who had not been vaccinated against the disease. The person attended the so-called “Asbury revival,” which took place southwest of Lexington, according to a release from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
No further information about the individual was released “due to privacy concerns,” but Kentucky Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack encourages those who are unvaccinated to quarantine for 21 days and then get immunized.
The department said they are actively collaborating with Asbury University, Jessamine County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the issue. CNN has reached out to Asbury University for comment.
For over three weeks, worshippers flew from across the country for the spontaneous event, standing in line outside of the college’s main chapel for an opportunity to take part in the singing, praying and discussion unfolding within, as CNN previously reported. The event began February 8 and ended on February 23, according to CNN affiliate WTVQ, and it hosted 50,000 to 70,000 people, CNN affiliate WKYT reported.
Measles is caused by a highly contagious respiratory virus spread through the air. The Kentucky Department of Public Health said early symptoms of measles are typical of many upper respiratory illnesses and proceed to the characteristic rash three to five days after symptom onset. It can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children, according to the CDC. About one in five unvaccinated people in the US who get measles is hospitalized, the CDC says.
The disease can be prevented with the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, according to the CDC. Two doses of the vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles.
“If you may have been exposed at Asbury University’s campus and develop any symptoms, whether previously vaccinated or unvaccinated, please isolate yourself from others and call your medical provider, urgent care, or emergency department to seek testing,” Dr. Stack said. “Please do not arrive at a health care facility without advance notice so that others will not be exposed.”
This is the third case of measles confirmed in Kentucky over the last three months. The first case was reported in December 2022 and it was linked to an outbreak in Ohio, while the second case was reported in Powell County. The cases were investigated and neither presented a public health threat, the Kentucky Department of Public Health said.