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Public health officials warn of possible measles outbreak
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Thursday, April 24, 2014 9:19 AM

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Knox County Health Department and Holmes County General Health District, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating several suspected cases of measles in the Knox County area. The initial cases are unvaccinated travelers who returned to Ohio from the Philippines.

Measles is an acute, highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is easily spread. Symptoms of the measles usually appear in 7-18 days after exposure. The disease is highly contagious and can be transmitted from four days prior to the onset of the rash to four days after the onset. Anyone who is not immunized and gets exposed to the disease has a high likelihood of getting ill.

“Immunization is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from vaccine-preventable diseases,” said ODH interim director Lance Himes. “When fully vaccinated, the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is 99 percent effective in preventing the measles.”

ODH and its local public health partners support the vaccine recommendations set forth by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC. These recommendations include vaccination schedules for when individuals (children and adults) should receive their vaccinations.

To access the current CDC recommended immunization schedules, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/index.html. The CDC also recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination.

For more information about measles, visit the ODH website at http://www.odh.ohio.gov/.