Quick Takes

People who were in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport Jan. 27-29 could have measles exposure

By: - February 5, 2024 5:41 pm

Vials of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Kentuckians who traveled through Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport between Jan. 27 and Jan. 29 may have been exposed to measles, the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services said Monday. 

Kentucky has had no confirmed cases of the highly contagious disease this year. But an Ohio resident with a confirmed case traveled through the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport on Jan. 27 between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. and 8:30-11:30 p.m. on Jan. 29.

People could also have been exposed “as passengers on specific flights,” CHFS said. It’s not yet clear which flights.  

“Measles is a highly contagious respiratory virus that is spread through the air,” Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said in a statement. “Early symptoms of measles are typical of many upper respiratory illnesses — fever, cough, watery eyes and runny nose — and proceed to the characteristic rash three to five days after symptoms begin.”

Anyone who was at the airport during the time of potential exposure and has developed symptoms, which can include cough, red eyes and runny nose, should isolate themselves from others and call their doctor or seek testing at an urgent care or emergency room, Stack said. 

Do not go to a health care facility without warning staff in advance if you suspect you have measles, though, he said. 

Measles “spreads easily when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes,” according to the World Health Organization. Vaccination is the best defense against measles, WHO says. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a first dose of MMR vaccine for children 12–15 months and a second dose between age 4–6. Teens and adults should also stay up-to-date on this vaccine, the CDC says, which is generally available at pharmacies. 

This story may be updated. 

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Sarah Ladd
Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd is a Louisville-based journalist from West Kentucky who's covered everything from crime to higher education. She spent nearly two years on the metro breaking news desk at The Courier Journal. In 2020, she started reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and has covered health ever since. As the Kentucky Lantern's health reporter, she focuses on mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, children's welfare, COVID-19 and more.

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