WILMINGTON — The Clinton County Health District has notified parents about a measles outbreak.
In a letter from Clinton County Health Commissioner Pam Walker-Bauer and Director of Nursing Monica Wood, the health district mentions there’s been a growing outbreak of measles in central Ohio, first identified in early November. According to the letter, there were 59 cases in children under 18. Twenty-three of them were hospitalized.
“Of the 59 total cases, 56 children were not vaccinated against measles. The other 3 cases were only partially vaccinated which means that they had 1 dose of the 2 dose measles vaccination series,” the letter states.
Steven Englender, health district medical advisor, shares in the letter that measles is “one of the most contagious human diseases. However, 2 doses of the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine can provide 97% protection for a lifetime.”
An infographic provided by the health district states symptoms typically include a high fever, coughing, runny nose, red and watery eyes, and a rash which breaks out three-five days after symptoms begin.
The infographic advises measles can be dangerous to babies and young children.
The letter states the first dose of the vaccine is recommended for those between 12 and 15 months old. The second dose is recommended between four and six years old.
“One dose of this vaccine is 93% effective while 2 doses are 97% effective should you/your child come in contact with the measles virus,” the letter states. “Immunity starts to build in the first few days following vaccination peaking near 2-3 weeks after.”
The vaccine is offered through the Clinton County Health District.
Any questions about the vaccine or to schedule a visit, call 937-382-3828. Or visit co.clinton.oh.us/departments/HealthDistrict.
Some frequently asked questions about measles:
How is measles prevented?
The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is very safe, effective and the best protection against measles. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles. One dose is about 93% effective. There are measles outbreaks in the U.S. and abroad. Unvaccinated young children have been diagnosed recently in Columbus — the first confirmed measles cases and outbreak in our community in over 20 years. You can protect your family with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Anyone who travels internationally, including infants 6-11 months of age, should be up to date with MMR.
How is measles treated?
There is no cure for measles. Over-the-counter medications can help relieve the fever. Other symptoms usually disappear within 2-3 weeks.
Who needs the measles vaccine (MMR)?
Children – Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at 4-6 years of age or at least 28 days following the first dose. Students at Post-High School Educational Institutions – Students at post-high school educational institutions without evidence of measles immunity need two doses of MMR vaccine with the second dose administered no earlier than 28 days after the first dose. Adults – People who were born during or after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine. International Travelers – People 6 months of age or older who will be traveling internationally should be protected against measles.
Who is at risk of measles?
Anyone who has not been immunized or had measles in the past is at risk. Babies younger than 12 months are at risk because they are too young to have been vaccinated.
How do I protect my baby who is under 12 months old?
If parents or caregivers have not gotten the MMR vaccine or had measles in the past, they should get vaccinated. It is important to make sure people who are around your new baby do not expose your baby to measles and other diseases (like whooping cough). What if someone in my family has measles or was exposed to someone with measles? Call your doctor, nurse or clinic right away. Before you go to the health care provider’s office, call to tell them that you or your family member might have measles. Stay away from other people until at least four days after the rash starts or a test proves you do not have measles.
Should pregnant people get the measles vaccine (MMR)?
Pregnant people should not get the MMR vaccine. Pregnant people who need the vaccine should wait until after giving birth. People should avoid getting pregnant for four weeks after getting the MMR vaccine.
Is the measles vaccine safe?
Research has shown that the measles vaccine (MMR) is safe and very effective. Getting vaccinated is much safer than getting any of the diseases the vaccine protects against.
Are there side effects from the vaccine?
Like any medication, the measles vaccine (MMR) may cause side effects, most of which are mild: • Pain at the injection site • Fever • Mild rash • Swollen glands in the cheek or neck
Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?
Vaccines do not cause autism. In fact, studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing autism. Scientists have carefully studied the MMR shot and no studies have found a link between autism and the MMR shot.
Do I ever need a booster vaccine?
If you have had two doses of MMR vaccine, you do not need a booster. If you are not sure whether you were vaccinated, talk with your healthcare provider.
Where can I get the measles vaccine?
To schedule an appointment for the MMR vaccine, call Fayette County Public Health at 740-335-5910 or speak to your healthcare provider. More information about measles is available on the ODH Measles FAQ page, which can be found at odh.ohio.gov.
Some information in this article was provided by the Clinton County Health District, Fayette County Public Health, Columbus Public Health, Franklin County Public Health, and the Ohio Department of Health.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574