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Northeast Ohio measles patient has state's first confirmed case since 2017

13 July 2019

A young adult in Stark County is the first confirmed case of measles in OH this year. This is the first confirmed case of the measles in OH since 2017. "I urge everyone who can, to get vaccinated", said Amy Acton, director of the state department of health.

Between Jan. 1 and July 3, 1,109 confirmed cases of measles have been reported in 28 states - including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky, which border OH - with several having outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Ohio Department of Health reminds and warns: "If one person has measles, up to 90% of those who come into contact with that person and who are not immune will also become infected".

From Jan. 1 to July 3 of this year, 1,109 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 28 states - the greatest number of cases reported nationwide since 1992, according to the CDC. "If someone is contagious, it can live for up to two hours in the air where that person coughed or sneezed".

What makes measles particularly challenging, Adams said, is the period of several days when a person has no symptoms but still is contagious. Cases had been reported in four states neighboring Ohio: Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. It was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000 but remains common in other parts of the world, including Israel, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Ukraine, and the Philippines.

Individuals planning worldwide travel are encouraged to contact their healthcare providers to ensure they are fully protected against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

"Symptoms to watch out for include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash that spreads from the head to the rest of the body", Dr Sheppeard said.

The rash can last for a week and coughing can last for about ten days. "A vaccine is the best way to stop the spread of the disease".

Measles may cause pregnant women who have not had the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.

ODH is sharing vaccination guidance and information with all its partners, including local health departments, hospitals, health care providers, K-12 educators and school nurses, higher education leaders, other state agencies and faith-based organizations.

Northeast Ohio measles patient has state's first confirmed case since 2017