National Measles Outbreak

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) sent an alert April 15, 2019 regarding the measles outbreaks occurring nationally. 555 cases of measles have been confirmed in 20 states this year. The majority of cases are in New York City & New York state, primarily among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities and travelers who brought measles back from Israel; as well as, Ukraine and Philippines. 
Ohio does not currently have any measles cases, but ODH is urging health care providers to be vigilant about measles. 
Measles Outbreaks
In a given year, more measles cases can occur for any of the following reasons:
• an increase in the number of travelers who get measles abroad and bring it into the U.S., and/or
• further spread of measles in U.S. communities with pockets of unvaccinated people.
Spread of Measles
• The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.
• Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.
• Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
• Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.
NOTE - with the upcoming Passover & Easter holiday, there may be more opportunities for measles to spread among unvaccinated individuals. 
Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles starts with fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.
Measles can be prevented with MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.
The vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination. If you are not sure if you or your children have been fully vaccinated against measles, talk with your doctor to see if anyone in your family needs to be vaccinated. Make sure you are up to date on your measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, including before traveling internationally.

Please visit https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html for measles information; or you may call the Auglaize County Health Department at 419-738-3410 and ask for the infectious disease nurse with any questions or concerns.

 

Date: 
Thursday, April 18, 2019