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Kentucky boy traveling abroad contracts measles

Kentucky officials say a child who was not vaccinated has contracted measles after traveling out of the country.

FRANKFORT, Kentucky (WAVE) - Kentucky officials say a child has contracted measles after traveling out of the country.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services say the child, who lives near Bowling Green, was not vaccinated.

He traveled to an area where measles is regularly found. The child did not show signs of being infectious until returning back to the U.S., health officials told NBC affiliate WAVE in Louisville.

“Measles is a highly contagious illness so it is extremely important that close contacts are notified,” DPH Commissioner Dr. Jeff Howard told WAVE. “We are working diligently, along with our local health department and CDC colleagues, to make sure contacts are aware of this potential case, are getting any necessary medical care and aren’t spreading the illness to others. We cannot stress enough the importance of vaccination. Measles, among many other vaccine-preventable diseases, is an extremely dangerous illness, especially for small children.”

The case is not connected to an outbreak in Washington state or other cases of measles in the U.S.

Measles is considered the most deadly of all childhood rash and fever illnesses, but it can be prevented with vaccination.

The measles vaccine is given to children at 12-15 months and again at 4-6 years of age.