CDC: 20,000 may have been exposed to measles at Kentucky gathering

The CDC is urging Kentucky health officials to be on "high alert" for measles symptoms after determining about 20,000 people may have been exposed to the disease at a large religious gathering in the state, CBS News reported March 1. 

According to the CDC, an unvaccinated individual who was contagious at the time attended the gathering, held on the campus of Asbury University in Wilmore on Feb. 17 and 18. The person was not yet experiencing symptoms, which typically develop around two weeks after exposure. 

The agency is urging physicians to "be on high alert for measles symptoms" among anyone who attended the event and is working with state officials to identify potential cases. 

"Community transmission of measles in connection with this event is possible, particularly among unvaccinated or under-vaccinated individuals," CDC spokesperson Scott Pauley told CBS News

Health officials are urging unvaccinated individuals who attended the gathering to get vaccinated, as the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine may offer some protection against infection or disease severity after exposure. Unvaccinated people who were in attendance Feb. 18 are also being asked to quarantine for 21 days. 

There have been three confirmed measles cases in Kentucky in recent months, including a case reported in December tied to Ohio's outbreak that had infected at least 85 people since November. 

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