The measles outbreak that started at a Johnson County day care more than a month ago is still active and health officials say they've identified a 16th case.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Monday that a Johnson County resident was diagnosed and that people who were in the lobby or sanctuary of the Cornerstone Presbyterian Church at 13300 Kenneth Road, Leawood, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on April 8 may have been exposed.
Church leaders didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
The current outbreak is the worst Kansas has seen since 1990. It has now sickened 13 residents of Johnson County, two in Linn County and one in Miami County. So far, none has suffered serious complications.
The outbreak started March 8 after a traveler brought the virus back from Asia. It spread mostly through infants too young to be vaccinated at the day care, which health officials haven't named for privacy reasons.
They have named more than a dozen public sites where those people may have exposed others, although many of those sites have since fallen off the list because it's been more than 21 days and anyone who was infected at those sites would have gotten sick by now.
In addition to the church, the other sites that are still active are:
- Casey’s General Store; 207 S. Ninth St., Mound City; March 28 from noon to 2:30 p.m.
- Olathe Health Family Medicine; 302 N. First St., Mound City; March 28 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Olathe Health Family Medicine; 1017 E. Market St., La Cygne; March 27 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Casey’s General Store; 406 E. Market St., La Cygne; March 27 from noon to 2:30 p.m.
The outbreak is not related to two cases in Missouri residents that the Kansas City Health Department is currently tracking. Potential exposure sites linked to those cases are:
- Barnes & Noble at Oak Park Mall; 11323 W. 95th St, Overland Park, March 30 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
- Subway at 312 E. 51st St., Kansas City, March 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Price Chopper at 6327 Brookside, Kansas City, March 30 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Laundroplex at 575 NW 68th St., Kansas City, March 31 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Quick Trip at 601 NW 68th St., Kansas City, March 31 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Pleasant Valley Baptist Church (church and lobby), 1600 Missouri 291, Liberty, April 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
People who were in the exposure areas at the listed times are advised to monitor themselves for three weeks for symptoms like fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes.
Measles is highly contagious, so if they become symptomatic they're asked to stay home except to seek medical care — and even then to call ahead so health care providers can make arrangements to protect other patients.
The measles vaccine is highly effective and most people receive it as part of the childhood measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, shot. The Centers for Disease Control declared measles eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, but the illness is still prevalent overseas and outbreaks that begin in other countries sporadically spread in the U.S. because some people refuse vaccinations, some are too young to be vaccinated and in rare cases the vaccine fails.