LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- In the wake of five current measles outbreaks throughout the United States, the University of Louisville Division of Infectious Diseases and the Department of Public Health and Wellness are teaming up to host two reduced-cost health fair clinics.
Measles outbreaks of three or more cases had been reported in five states including Washington, New York City, New York's Rockland County, Texas, Illinois and California. Seven other states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Oregon, had also seen measles cases. Louisville has not had any measles cases so far this year. Kentucky's sole case involved an unvaccinated child living in the south-central part of the state who had traveled outside the United States.
"Measles is one of our most contagious diseases and MMR is one of our most effective vaccines. It's totally unnecessary that children and adults should be unprotected against this deadly disease. We urge everyone to be immunized," said Dr. Lori Caloia, Medical Director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.
On April 19 and April 20 people can recieve Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and chickenpox vaccinations. The vaccines are $40.00 per dose and will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last. This special rate is considerably less than the regular price of $80-$120 per dose for MMR vaccine and the $100-$150 per dose for chickenpox vaccine, according to Louisville Metro Public Health. Because of the below-cost rate, insurance cannot be accepted at the clinic. Cash, credit card and medical spending accounts will be accepted.
The health fair clinics will be held at the University of Louisville Vaccine and International Travel Clinic at 501 W. Broadway, Suite 110, on Friday April 19 from 5 - 8 p.m. and on Saturday April 20 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Anyone who falls into one or more of the following categories should be immunized.
- Adults who do not have evidence of receiving 2 doses of MMR vaccine in the past
- Children and adolescents under the age of 18 years should have received MMR vaccine and chickenpox vaccine from their pediatrician or primary care provider. If not, they may come to one of the clinics for evaluation.
- Adults who do not have evidence of receiving 2 doses of chickenpox vaccine and have not had diagnosed chicken pox
- Individuals preparing for international travel
- Adults previously vaccinated between 1963-1967 (typically, adults now in their fifties) when the measles vaccine administered may have been ineffective
- Adults previously vaccinated between 1963-1991 who may have received only a single dose of MMR vaccine
- Anyone wanting to be vaccinated who is unsure of their vaccination status
Measles can be deadly, particularly in children; two to three out of every 1000 people infected will die from measles. Measles is reemerging in the United States largely because of pockets of unvaccinated populations throughout the country. As people travel outside the United States to countries where measles is prevalent and then return home, or when unvaccinated international travelers visit our country, the disease has the chance to spread among those who have not been immunized.
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