Several things are troubling about the measles outbreak in Kansas.
For one thing, it involved a lot of infants who were too young to be vaccinated. Their parents didn’t get to make a choice about getting vaccinated or getting measles. They got measles.
Also, as the case count climbed to 22 before ending, we are only now learning how the outbreak got started.
Greg Lakin, the chief medical officer for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said the current outbreak started when an infant who was too young to be vaccinated picked up the virus in Asia. That infant then returned to a Johnson County day care.
What You Need to Know About the JoCo Outbreak
But what does too young to be vaccinated mean?
Remember that if you are traveling out of the country, infants should get their first MMR early, as early as six months of age.
Update on the Measles Outbreak in Kansas
Since the outbreak in a daycare in Johnson County was discovered on March 8, a total of 22 measles cases have been identified, including:
- 14 Johnson County residents
three Linn County residents
- one Miami County resident not associated with the daycare
The latest cases could have exposed other people to measles at:
- Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in the Lobby and Sanctuary; 13300 Kenneth Rd., Leawood, KS; April 8 from 10:30 a.m.to 1:30 p.m.
- Blue Mound Federated Church; General Delivery, Blue Mound, KS; April 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Olathe Health Family Medicine; 302 N.1st St, Mound City, KS; March 26 and 28 from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM
- Olathe Health Family Medicine; 1017 E. Market St, La Cygne, KS; March 27 from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM, March 29 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, March 30 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and April 2 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Casey’s General Store; 207 S. 9th St, Mound City, KS; March 26 from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM, March 28 from 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM, March 30 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and April 2 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m
- Casey’s General Store; 406 E. Market St, LaCygne, KS;March 27 from 12:00
PM to 2:30 PM
- Linn County Judicial Building; 318 Chestnut St., Mound City, KS; March 30 from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Applebee’s; 16110 W. 135thSt., Olathe, KS; March 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Main Street Liquor; 411 E. Main St., Osawatomie, KS; March 30 from 9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Dollar General; 110 S. 9thSt., Mound City, KS;March 29 from 5:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Auburn Pharmacy; 625 E Main. St, Mound City, KS; on March 13th from 4:15 PM to 6:45 PM
- Aldi’s; 15290 W. 119th St Olathe, KS 66062; on March 2nd from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
- Payless Discount Foods; 2101 E. Santa Fe St, Olathe, KS; on March 6th from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM
- El Potro Mexican Café; 602 N Pearl St, Paola, KS on March 7th from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
- Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas Emergency Department; 5808 W 110th St, Overland Park, KS on March 8th and March 10th in the morning
- AMC Dine – In Studio 28; 12075 S. Strang Line Rd, Olathe, KS; March 9th from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM
- Budget Coin Laundry; 798 E Main St, Gardner, KS; on March 9th from 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
- Olathe YMCA swimming pool and locker room; 21400 W. 153rd St, Olathe, KS; on March 10th from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM
- Bath and Body Works at Legends Outlets; 1803 Village W Pkwy, Kansas City, KS; on March 10th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
- Crazy 8 at Legends Outlets; 1843 Village W Pkwy, Kansas City, KS ; on March 10th after 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
- Orange Leaf; 11524 W 135th St Overland Park, KS; on March 10th from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Chick-fil-A; 12087 S Blackbob Rd, Olathe, KS on March 24th 8:15 PM till Close
Olathe YMCA – ENTIRE FACILITY INCLUDING CHILDCARE AREA; 21400 W. 153rd St, Olathe, KS on March 22nd and 23rd from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
- Walgreens; 7500 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO on March 22nd, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
- Chuck E. Cheese’s; 15225 W 134th Pl, Olathe, KS on March 21st, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
If you were exposed and aren’t immune to measles (two doses of the MMR vaccine provide good protection), then you should watch for signs and symptoms to develop 10 to 21 days after your last exposure (in quarantine).
With the new exposures, that means that we could expect to see new cases associated with this outbreak any time between now and April 29th (the last exposure and the longest incubation period).
A History of Measles Outbreaks in Kansas
Some folks probably recall that this isn’t the first big measles outbreak in Kansas.
One of the largest measles outbreaks of 2014 was in the Kansas City metropolitan area. That year, at least 28 people developed measles, including a newborn who was only two weeks old.
In addition to the outbreak in Kansas City, there was another large outbreak that year in Sedgwick County – Wichita, Kansas.
And like most measles outbreaks, other states were affected too. Someone from Texas developed measles after getting exposed to measles at a softball tournament in Wichita.
More recently, outbreaks in Kansas have included:
- a suspected case at William Allen White Elementary School in Lyon County, Kansas which has led to the quarantine of unvaccinated students for 3 weeks (2017)
- a case in Butler County, Kansas. (2017)
- a case in Sedgwick County, Kansas, a child too young to be vaccinated who may have been exposed at a church. Three other exposed infants who were too young to be vaccinated and who were considered at risk to get measles in this outbreak received immunoglobulin treatment. (2017)
- a second case in the Wichita, Kansas area, this time in Sedgwick County, with exposures at a church, dental office, elementary school, and multiple stores over at least 3 days. (2017)
Why are there still so many measles outbreaks in Kansas?
Like in other places with outbreaks, it is likely explained by relatively high levels of non-medical exemptions and clusters of unvaccinated children and adults.
Hopefully this outbreak will be a good reminder that vaccines are necessary and everyone will get their kids caught up and protected.
What to Know About the Measles Outbreak in Kansas
Kansas is in the middle of another large measles outbreak and as usual, it is mostly among those who are unvaccinated, including many too young to be vaccinated.
More on the Measles Outbreak in Kansas
- Olathe mom of baby with measles worried about others who aren’t vaccinated
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment
- Johnson County Health Department
- Outbreak of Measles in a Community with Low Vaccination Coverage –Johnson and Sedgwick Counties, June –July 2014
- Measles likely to hit KC again, doctors warn
- On-time vaccination rate for Kansas kids tumbles
- CDC – Vaccination Coverage for Selected Vaccines, Exemption Rates, and Provisional Enrollment Among Children in Kindergarten — United States, 2016–17 School Year
Updated on April 21, 2018