By Matthew Keck– 

The University of Louisville Division of Infectious Disease and the Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness will provide reduced-cost measles and chickenpox vaccines later this month amid a nationwide measles outbreak.

The vaccines will cost $40, as opposed to the typical $80 to $120. Since the price is considerably less, they will not be accepting insurance at this clinic.

“This is our way to reach out to the community,” said Dr. Ruth Carrico, an associate professor in the U of L Division of Infectious Disease. They want people to know measles is highly contagious, but can also be be prevented with proper vaccination.

Carrico said that no one should become sick from a preventable disease.

She said college students should consult their parents and primary healthcare provider to see if they should get vaccinated. She said this is an opportunity for students to take responsibility for their health and get vaccinated.

Carrico said that they are aware that this clinic is taking place before the Kentucky Derby, and that the local population is always more susceptible when outside traffic increases. The risk is elevated because measles is an airborne disease, making anyone not vaccinated vulnerable around someone infected.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, “Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person.” The CDC says symptoms are typically high fever, runny nose, cough, and red, watery eyes. “Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet.”

There have been 465 cases of measles in the U.S. reported to the CDC this year through April 4. That is close to 100 more cases than all of 2018.

The public health department announced the only case of measles in Kentucky was an unvaccinated child in the south-central part of the state.

The clinic will be held on April 19 from 5 to 8 p.m. and April 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of Louisville Vaccine and International Travel Clinic at 501 W. Broadway, Suite 110.

File Graphic / The Louisville Cardinal