COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Health confirms the state's first measles case of 2019, according to a release from public officials. Officials say a young adult from Stark County traveled to a state with confirmed measles cases.
"Vaccinations save lives, period. I urge everyone who can, to get vaccinated,” said Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton in a news release. “Vaccination is the safest, most effective way to prevent serious vaccine-preventable diseases in children and adults, including measles.”
Currently, officials are not disclosing any further information about the infected person. The last time there was a measles outbreak in Ohio was in 2017, with one person infected with the virus. In 2014, there were 382 confirmed cases of measles.
“One thing is really important – vaccination is critical. We are lucky to have a high vaccination rate in Stark County and Ohio, so the vast majority of the public is protected,” said Kirkland Norris, Health Commissioner, Stark County Health Department.
Measles is extremely contagious and can spread to others through coughing or sneezing. If one person has measles, up to 90% of those who come in contact with that person and who are not immune, can become infected.
In Israel, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Ukraine, and the Philippines, there are currently large outbreaks of measles.
Symptoms include a rash, fever, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite and red and watery eyes.
“I recommend all Ohioans consult with their health care provider to make sure that you and your children have received all recommended vaccines,” said Director Acton. “Especially before students return to school. If you do not have a health care provider, contact your local health department which may offer immunization clinics.”