The worst Kansas measles outbreak in nearly 30 years has ended. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment officially declared the state free of measles Wednesday.
State Epidemiologist Farah Ahmed says the outbreak started when a child returned from an overseas trip with measles and exposed other children.
“The reason that it kind of took off is because there was exposure in a day care setting, exposure to kids that were too young to be vaccinated," she says. "And measles is just a really highly infectious disease.”
Measles eventually sickened 22 people in Johnson, Linn and Miami counties. There was also an unrelated outbreak on the Missouri side of the border.
Almost all the cases were in people who had not been vaccinated. Ahmed says the outbreak shows why it’s important to keep vaccinations up to date.