Ohio Reports at Least 82 Cases of Measles in Children Since Initial Outbreak in November

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The age group seeing the highest number of cases is children between the ages of 1 and 2, with 32 cases.

Ohio is reporting that 82 children under the age of 17 have been confirmed to have measles since the initial outbreak was discovered November.

The Columbus Public Health released an updated report showing that of the 82 cases, 32 of the infected have been hospitalized. Thirty-two children between the ages of 1 and 2 are among those infected.  

Seventy-four of the cases have occurred in unvaccinated children, four of children who have fallen ill were partially vaccinated and four have an unknown vaccination status, according to the report.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, measles is especially dangerous for children and can start showing symptoms within one to two weeks after contact. Symptoms can include a fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes and can end in rashes and white spots in the mouth.

Measles is highly contagious and can be spread by breathing contaminated air or touching contaminated surfaces and objects then touching one's eyes, nose, or mouth, the CDC reported.

Columbus Public Health officials released a statement at the start of the outbreak in November, notifying the public of four cases of measles that occurred in a children’s daycare.

All children initially affected had no travel history and were all unvaccinated against the disease, according to the statement. The daycare was then closed temporarily while officials investigated possible sources of contact. 

Officials released another statement at the end of November with a list of locations that had measles cases present and for parents to watch for signs and symptoms of measles in their children if they were at any of those locations.

In the statement made in late November, the number of measles cases has risen to 46 and all infected were unvaccinated children. 

“We are working diligently with the cases to identify any potential exposures and to notify people who were exposed,” Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said in the statement. 

“The most important thing you can do to protect against measles is to get vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is safe and highly effective.”

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