Nearly three months after the initial outbreak of measles at a Johnson County day care, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) declares the outbreak over. The conclusion of the outbreak was made official on May 28, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided final specimen testing results. A measles outbreak is considered over when no additional cases have been identified, and two incubation periods (42 days) have passed. Counties affected by the outbreak included Johnson, Linn and Miami.
We are happy and relieved that this outbreak has concluded,” said KDHE State Epidemiologist Dr. Farah Ahmed. ”Because of the unfortunate circumstance of this starting in a day care environment where many children were too young to be vaccinated, we and local health departments were challenged to track those infected and make sure the public took appropriate precautions. Most people followed instructions, and we were able to contain the outbreak without major health complications,” Dr. Ahmed said.
KDHE emphasizes that the best way to prevent measles and many other diseases is through vaccinations. KDHE provides vaccines through a network of local public and private providers across the state, through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. VFC is a federally-funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. A child is eligible for the VFC program if he/she is younger than 19 years of age and is one of the following:
• Underinsured (has insurance that does not cover vaccines, does not cover a particular vaccine or has a dollar cap on vaccines and that cap has been reached)
• American Indian or Alaska Native
There is no cost for the vaccine; however, there may be an office visit charge or an administration fee. For a list of Kansas VFC providers, visit http://www.kdheks.gov/immunize/vfc_program.html.
Uninsured adults may find vaccines available at Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Centers and at some local health departments. Many private providers and pharmacies provide vaccine for insured people. HealthMap Vaccine Finder is a resource for locating vaccines in communities https://vaccinefinder.org/.