Ohio County has reported more than 80 measles cases, the most of the nation’s 117
AND outbreak of measles in central Ohio, it infected 82 patients under the age of 18, and according to reports, almost 40% of the children, 32 of them, had to be hospitalized.
The Franklin County outbreak marks the first time a case has been reported in the area in 20 years, Axios reported.
Franklin County’s 82 cases make up the majority of the nation’s 117 reported cases.
Most of the cases were in babies under the age of 1 to 5 who have not yet was vaccinated.
None of the children were fully vaccinated against high contageous disease, which includes fever, runny nose and rash, but can also lead to complications.
“Measles can be serious,” according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. “Children under 5 and adults over 20 are more likely to suffer complications. Common complications are ear infections and diarrhoea. Serious complications include pneumonia and encephalitis.”
A child must be at least 1 year old to receive the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, and 28% of those infected were reportedly not old enough to receive it.
The outbreak was thought to have spread as a result of four unvaccinated people returning to the area from measles-prevalent counties, Columbus Public Health Commissioner Mysheika Roberts told Axios.
“In 2000, measles was declared gone from the United States,” Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson told The Hill. “Unfortunately, we’re starting to see that now, and it’s a big problem because of the reduction in vaccines that are out there.”
Local health officials are encouraging Ohioans to get the MMR vaccine, which experts say is 97% effective.
“Measles is a highly contagious and serious disease,” the City of Columbus Health Department says on its website. “MMR vaccine is safe and very effective in preventing measles. MMR vaccines are available at Columbus Public Health during regular vaccine clinic hours and at Franklin County Public Health by appointment only. Children can also get MMR vaccines from their pediatrician or doctor. ”
No deaths have been reported.