At least 82 children in Ohio infected with measles, more than half of whom are unvaccinated babies and toddlers

Measles is spreading among children in Ohio two months after cases were first detected. Officials said there were at least 82 cases of measles in central Ohio as of Thursday morning, all of them children.

Columbus Public Health First announced the investigation It turned into an epidemic on November 9 after four confirmed cases of measles were associated with a childcare facility in Franklin County. Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. While Mysheika Roberts urged parents to vaccinate their children, authorities said all of these cases were among children who had not been vaccinated and had no travel history.

At the end of the month, cases were linked to several other sites, including the Polaris Mall, a church, and a grocery store.

The number has increased since then, and as of Thursday morning, Columbus Public Health has reported at least 82 cases, including 32 hospitalized. According to health data, all of these cases are among children aged 17 and under, with around 94% of these cases infecting infants, infants and children up to age 5. No child has died in the epidemic so far.

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So far all affected children appear to be at least partially unvaccinated, meaning they only received one dose of the two doses required for the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine known as MMR, but four children still have an unknown vaccine. vaccination status. It is recommended that children receive the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose between 4 and 6 years of age.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of measles — usually high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes — appear within a week or two of contact with the virus, and a rash appears three to five days after its onset.

But the CDC says “measles is not just a minor rash.” “Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children.”

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Columbus health officials have warned that the MMR vaccine is critical in preventing the spread of measles because 90% of people exposed to the unvaccinated virus will become infected. About 1 in 5 people with measles are hospitalized.

Ohio’s outbreak has already exceeded the combined total of cases reported to the CDC in 2020 and 2021, and appears to account for the bulk of cases nationwide in 2022.

D., a primary care pediatrician at Riley Children’s Health in Indiana. Shannon Dillon told CBS News this week that most of the outbreaks seen in the past decade have “clustered in unvaccinated people.”

“It’s hard to say what to do at this point because it seems premature,” he said. “…when you have a cluster of unvaccinated people who tend to associate with one another, there is always a chance that it will spread pretty quickly.”

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Vaccine misinformation and a lack of primary health care providers have caused many parents to hesitate to vaccinate their children against viruses such as measles, he said. Vaccines remain “one of the most important things” that can be done to prevent the spread of diseases.

“Things like measles killed millions of children around the world before there was a vaccine. And these are very safe vaccines,” Dillon said. “The measles vaccine has been available since 1963 and really little has changed since then. That’s why we have decades of data showing how safe they are – and if you have any questions about it, you should be comfortable talking to your child’s regular doctor.”

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