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State's first measles case of 2019 confirmed in Ohio

Patient in Stark County
Posted at 9:27 AM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 09:27:31-04

COLUMBUS — State health officials have confirmed Ohio’s first measles case of 2019, according to Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton.

A young adult from Stark County, located southeast of Cleveland, traveled to a state with confirmed measles cases, health officials said. This is the first confirmed case of the measles in Ohio since 2017.

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus that spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Acton is urging everyone who can get vaccinated to do so.

“Vaccination is the safest, most effective way to prevent serious vaccine-preventable diseases in children and adults, including measles,” she said.

Earlier this month, the Cincinnati Health Department said it was investigating a possible case of measles. It is working with officials from the state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on confirmatory testing.

As of July 3, there have been 1,109 cases of measles reported in 28 states this year. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.

There were 372 measles cases reported in 2018, and 120 in 2017.

According to the CDC, the majority of people who have been diagnosed with measles were unvaccinated and travelers often bring measles into the U.S.

One contagious person can spread the disease to up to ten people around them, the CDC says.

Symptoms include: 

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • Rash of tiny, red spots

The rash can last for a week and coughing can last for about ten days. In severe cases, measles can cause serious health complications such as pneumonia or encephalitis.

The CDC recommends children get two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine: one dose at 12-15 months, and a second dose at 4-6 years old.