MEDIA ADVISORY: NKY Health’s Actions to Control Chickenpox Outbreak Upheld

July 1, 2019


Contact: Laura Brinson

NKY Health’s Actions to Control Chickenpox Outbreak Upheld


 FLORENCE, Ky. — The Kentucky Court of Appeals’ Order issued on June 26 in the Kunkel litigation is a resounding victory for public health in Kentucky. The Court of Appeals, in a thorough and extensive decision, upheld the Boone County Circuit Court’s finding that the control measures implemented by the Northern Kentucky Health Department in response to the chickenpox outbreak at Assumption Academy were reasonable, appropriate and necessary to control the spread of a highly infectious disease. If left uncontrolled, chickenpox, also known as varicella, can result in serious, if not deadly, consequences.

Supporting the actions of the Health Department, the Court of Appeals quoted the U.S. Supreme Court’s statement that, “Of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.” This statement of law embraces the very mission of the Northern Kentucky Health Department, which strives every day to prevent disease, promote wellness and protect against health threats in the Northern Kentucky community.

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The Northern Kentucky Health Department provides high quality public health services to more than 400,000 residents of Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton Counties, with a goal of preventing disease, promoting wellness and protecting against health threats. The Health Department seeks to be a nationwide leader in public health, and was one of the first in the country to earn national public health accreditation. For more information, visit www.nkyhealth.org.