Measles and Mumps Outbreak Continues To Spread Across Ohio State

The Ohio Department of Health has urged all Ohioans to get their MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) amidst the continuous mumps spread and several alleged measles cases in Knox County.

According to Columbus Public Health and ODH, the number of people who have confirmed mumps cases is nearing 280 – 12 counties in Ohio have been affected. There are 29 cases in Delaware County, two of which have been tied back to Ohio State University in January. The ODH made a declaration on April 2 of a community-wide outbreak for 27 of the cases.

One of the hardest hit counties is Franklin County with 232 confirmed cases of the mumps, 150 of them linked back to the OSU outbreak that occurred among students, staff, students’ families and other people they came into contact with. Over 200 of the cases in the community and OSU-linked outbreaks are found in Columbus.

  • Mumps, which is a viral illness, is spread through close contact. This can include sharing drinking glasses and eating utensils. While some people with the mumps virus have no symptoms of the disease, they can appear within three weeks after virus exposure and can include fever, loss of appetite, headache, fatigue/weakness and pain while swallowing and chewing.  The most common sign is the swollen salivary glands that lead to puffed out cheeks.
  • Measles, on the other hand, is a very contagious respiratory infection that can be spread through coughing. Symptoms tend to rear their ugly head between seven and 18 days after there has been exposure. However, the virus can present itself in as little as four days with a rash after the transmission.  Its symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose and a unique rash.  Some cases of the measles can include ear infections or pneumonia.

The CDC said those who were not immunized with the MMR vaccine have a higher chance of catching the measles if they are exposed to it.

In Knox County, the probable measles cases were found in unvaccinated travelers who just came back from Ohio after a stint in the Philippines. There, the Philippines is suffering wtih an outbreak that has left 20,000 people suffering with the condition and caused the deaths of nearly 70 people.

The CDC, as of April 18, tracked 13 outbreaks of the measles since Jan. 1 in various states, with a total of 129 cases.

Nearly 60 of the cases are in California, which is considered to be the largest outbreak in the United States. Orange County Public Health has confirmed 22 cases of the measles, making it the most affected county in the state.

The cases are seen mainly in children who do not have the MMR vaccine. However, some of the cases are tied to healthcare workers with initially cared for the patient. One case happened because a person traveled overseas.

In 2000, the CDC declared the eradication of the measles for the U.S. However, some cases could occur, they would not be native of the country, being brought into the country where measles is still prevalent.

In 2004, there were just 37 cases nationally, but, in 2011, that number rose to more than 200 calories. The CDC attributes the rise in number from unvaccinated travelers bringing measles back to the United States. The CDC said the cases they’ve seen since 2000 were among the pockets of unvaccinated communities.

Lance Himes, ODH interim director, said the best way to protect people is to be immunized. When completely vaccinated, the MMR vaccine is nearly 100 percent effective in measles prevention.

While the MMR vaccine is given twice in childhood – once between 12 and 15 months of age and four and six years of age – it can be provided again at another age and as a booster for adults. The CDC recommends all students in post-secondary school and healthcare workers to get a booster.

Dr. Mysheika Williams Roberts, medical director at CPH, said when one person is unvaccinated, it can result in everyone being at risk for suffering with the mumps and/or measles.

Along with Franklin and Delaware Counties, identified mumps cases have been found in Fairfield, Licking, Marion, Pickaway and Union counties. In many of these cases, the outbreak relates back to the OSU outbreak and ties to Franklin and Delaware counties.

For additional information about the availability on vaccination or if people notice symptoms, they are urged to get in touch with their primary care physician.

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Posted by on Apr 25 2014. Filed under Health, New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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