Measles Outbreak in Ohio Sickens Over 50 Children

More than 50 children contracted measles in the central Ohio outbreak. The majority of infected kids had not been vaccinated against the disease.

The outbreak that started in November sickened at least 58 children, with 22 hospitalizations, the data released by Columbus Public Health shows.

Of those, 55 children had not been vaccinated against measles, and three received only one vaccine dose. Children aged 1 to 5 years are most affected, accounting for 71% of cases.

Measles is very contagious and spreads through coughing, sneezing, or contact with contaminated surfaces, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Measles rash

The virus can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children, but it is almost entirely preventable with the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella.

Children should receive their first dose of the MMR vaccine when they are 12-15 months old and the second dose when they are 4-6 years old. For teenagers and adults with no evidence of immunity, the CDC recommends receiving the vaccine as soon as possible.

In the US, more than 90% of eligible children are vaccinated against measles. However, in 2021, a record high of 39,7 million children worldwide missed a measles vaccine dose, leaving them susceptible to the disease, according to the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Health authorities then said that measles is “an imminent threat” in every region of the world, as the virus can quickly spread to multiple communities and across international borders.

The symptoms of measles typically include:

  • rash
  • high fever (may spike to more than 104°)
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • red, watery eyes

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